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Call for day off to mark Liberation 75

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A PETITION has been launched calling for Islanders to get a day off next year to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Liberation Day.

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Next year’s Liberation Day falls on a Saturday, meaning that as it stands the traditional bank holiday to celebrate the Island’s national day would be lost for most people.

The UK recently moved the May Day bank holiday – which falls on the first Monday in May – to Friday 8 May to coincide with VE Day.

VE Day, or Victory in Europe Day, marks the day towards the end of World War Two when fighting against Nazi Germany came to an end in Europe. The following day, the Channel Islands were liberated from German occupation.

An online petition, started by Citizens Advice chief executive Malcolm Ferey, is calling for Monday 11 May 2020 to be made a bank holiday as part of the Liberation Day celebrations. He said: ‘My proposal is, in effect, to move the holiday for Liberation to the following Monday, 11 May.

‘This works in two ways. Firstly, if we decide to move the May Day bank holiday, we would get a nice, extended weekend with the Friday and Monday off to enjoy Liberation Day.

‘When Liberation Day falls on a Saturday, there tends to be a reluctance from shops to close because it is such a busy trading day. This is a really important event for our island and is a landmark anniversary which should be marked appropriately in a way everyone will remember.’

He added that Liberation 75 needed to preserve the memories of the Occupation.

‘This is the last big anniversary that those who have living memories of those dark days will be able to share their stories. It is important we mare sure we don’t forget. Liberation Day is not just about a day off – it is our national holiday. It is about spending time with your family, sharing stories and memories.

‘We need to keep it special.’

The last time Liberation Day fell on a Saturday, then-Deputy Sam Mézec brought a proposition to the States to move the bank holiday to the Friday. The proposition was rejected by 33 votes to nine.

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