The big businessmen are the ones who benefit most from Father’s Day

Dear Editor,

There is a commercial twist to most activities and observances especially Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Secretary’s Day, not to mention Christmas and Thanksgiving in the United States. Here in the US, the big chain stores such as Macy’s, Sears, JC Penny, etc, capitalize on Labour Day, Memorial Day ‒ you name it. There are sales and as they put it, “Big Bargains” on most items at 50% discount ‒ at least so they say.

It is no different in St Vincent and the Grenadines where the commercial houses try their best to woo customers.

Father’s Day is being celebrated on the third Sunday in June, and this day too is being commercialized, but not to the same extent as Mother’s Day because it is a known fact that mothers are more important to children than fathers, and they do not go as deep into their pockets as they would for their mothers. Moreover there are a large number of fathers who are neglectful and fail to properly support their children.

There will be special services on Sunday, June 16 in some churches in the Caribbean, the United States and other parts of the world, and many organizations will have lunches and get-togethers for the fathers.

Father’s Day wasn’t officially recognized as a day of celebration until 1972, more than half a century after Mrs Sonora Smart Dodd in Spokane, Washington was inspired to dedicate a day to honour her father and all others. The efforts led Spokane to sponsor the first Father’s Day in 1910, on the third Sunday in June, the month of her father’s birth. In 1924 President Coolidge recommended “the widespread observance” of Father’s Day to establish more intimate relations between fathers and their children, and also to impress upon fathers the full measure of their obligations. The disparity between mothers and fathers was condemned which led to the recognition of Father’s Day.

According to the Great American Newsletter, Senator Margaret Chase Smith, one of six children in a close family, was ardent in her support. In 1927 she said, “The Congress has been guilty now for 40 years of the worst possible oversight… Either we honour both our parents, mother and father, or let us desist from honouring either one.”

Nevertheless, it took another 15 years before President Richard Nixon’s signature on a Congressional resolution made Father’s Day “official.”

It seems as if Father’s Day originated in the United States, but many other countries celebrate it, including Australia  Spain, Belgium, Taiwan, Scandinavia, Thailand, New Zealand and those in the Caribbean. Some countries celebrate it on different dates ranging from March to December.

The United Kingdom and its former colonies (including the Commonwealth Caribbean) celebrate Father’s Day on the third Sunday in June, while Canada does so on the Sunday before.

Regardless of what the date and where it is celebrated, the persons who mainly benefit from the observances are the big businessmen.

Yours faithfully,
Oscar Ramjeet

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