British Columbia Branch


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The story of England and the English is one of history's most remarkable sagas. The word "England" conjures up many different images: from our great cities with their imposing Georgian and Victorian architecture to the Medieval castles and cathedrals of our country towns and the delightful villages and tranquil meadows of the rural shires, England's green and pleasant land. It is however our distinctive culture, values and traditions which are the unmistakable marks of English nationhood.

Even today, though some of the old glories and certainties may have dimmed, England still maintains her inner strength, her quiet dignity. No longer the hub of a great Empire, but still a bastion of freedom, gentility and human decency - values which give meaning to the clarion cry "Saint George for England!"

Prior to the formation of The Royal Society of St. George and before the American War of Independence, Societies of St. George had been founded in the then North American Colonies for the relief of British immigrants and to give them general assistance in the new country. The earliest Branches of which there are any records are those of New York (1770), Philadelphia (1772) and Charlestown (1773). Subsequently Branches were formed in all the great cities of the North American continent and celebrations were always held on St. George's Day. At the time of the War of Independence many Loyalists moved to Canada and founded similar Societies there.

The Royal Society of St. George was founded in 1894 with the noble object of promoting "Englishness" and the English way of life. The Society quickly attracted the support of many distinguished public figures in England and throughout the British Empire. Its first Royal Patron was Queen Victoria; and the society has enjoyed the Patronage of every reigning monarch from that day to this.

Our present sovereign, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, in 1963, bestowed a notable honour by granting the Society its own Royal Charter, a distinction of which its members are justifiably proud.

Today, more than a century after its birth, the Society is still the standard bearer of traditional English values, both at home and abroad. Its role is primarily educational, promoting the common cultural heritage of people throughout the English-speaking world, including our former Dominions and Colonies. The Society now focuses its work on the younger generations of English and kindred people whose most valuable inheritance is our nation's history and culture.