If the captain of the John Wikcliffe had known what chaos and confusion his arrival at Port Chalmers would cause future citizens of Otago and Southland, he might have chosen a more convenient date.
As it was he arrived on March 23rd and some powers that be subsequently decreed that that date would be the two provinces’ anniversary day and be observed on the Monday closet to it.
The trouble is those of us on the right side of the Waitaki and of independent mind and not everyone wants to take today off. Some would prefer to tack the day on to Easter which is usually not far away instead.
Consequently, as happens every year, some businesses and offices are open and some are not. Some people are taking a day off and others are saving it for a couple of weeks to turn the four-day Easter break into a five day one.
As employers with a seven day a week operation, we have to pay those who work today holiday rates even if they’d rather work today and have a day off in a fortnight.
That includes anyone who might be getting stock in to send to the works because if no-one does that today freezing workers – who may or may not be working today – will have nothing to do tomorrow.
Living on the right side of the Waitaki has a lot to recommend but, but the timing of our anniversary day isn’t one of them.