The Florida Page – March 2012
MOST BRITS don’t celebrate St Patrick’s Day by swilling green beer and indulging in all the fake Irishness that erupts here. We respect Irish people too much … you know, the real ones with Irish accents and Irish passports! But if you do head out to an Irish pub to celebrate, as I have over the years at South Florida’s fine pubs like John Martin’s, Waxy O’Connor’s, Playwright’s and The Field, do remind revellers around you of this: St Patrick was English.
(FYI: I keep abreast of Irish news via a website called www.irishcentral.com with glorious stories like: Irish call for apology following “Drunks Vomiting Shamrocks’ clothing line.” I know my readers are too classy to wear St Patrick’s togs like that).
The famous Cricketer’s Arms Pub in Orlando has reopened at a new location in Orlando, with a different phone number (407) 730-2111. I reported its sad and sudden closing in the August 2011 column). I don’t know when the happy event occurred, because they didn’t advertise it in this paper, so I heard purely by chance, but delighted for British owner Phil – Prince of Pubs – Coppen. If you frequented the former one on International Drive, suggest you pop in to explore the new one. Welcome back, Phil!
• JUPITER (east Florida) BRITISH CAR SHOW called Wheels Across the Pond returns on April 7. For info call the British promoter Neil Archer (561) 601-3212.
• NEED A JOB? British Petroleum (BP Oil) employs 37, 000 people across the USA in several states. In the UK Daily Telegraph BP took a print ad out in January 2012 particularly seeking British expats resident in the USA for various jobs, from blue collar, to professional, engineering and executive. This is an ongoing need with many vacancies. For BP’s current hiring needs, visit www.bp.com and click on Careers.
• TAMPA BABC UPDATE. This has been run since 2009 by an American immigration attorney in Tampa. I did send him a copy of Union Jack Newspaper in March 2009 and emailed him directly requesting BABC event info for publication. No response and when I later looked at the website in 2011 it was “frozen” on 2009 and promoting an “upcoming” 2010 event. So I concluded to UJ readers in my October 2011 column that Tampa BABC had folded. If not true, that strategy would prompt them to correct me. Five months later, on February 20, the attorney’s secretary phoned saying the Tampa BABC was still operating. “The mission of the BABC Tampa Bay is to promote trade and commerce between its 65 member companies in the Tampa Bay region and the United Kingdom,” she emailed me to publish. Great news I told her, offering to update readers. My focus is always to boost British-American business in Florida. Yet as I write this on February 27 the website remains three years old and names their Honorary Board Member as British Consul General Keith Allan. He left Florida three years ago. So best you phone (813) 221-7250 for current info. Onward and Upwards Tampa BABC!
• GOLFERS! Even if you think Tiger Woods is a park in Singapore, you’ll be welcome at the Orlando British-American Chamber of Commerce St George’s Day Dreamflight Foundation Golf Charity Tournament. Round up fellow Brit golfers and enter … or just spectate and stay for the apres-golf luncheon. Sponsored by British Airways with numerous fabulous prizes. All takes place on Friday April 27. Phone the BACC office on (407) 226-7251 and they will email you full details.
• TALKING OF St George’s Day, we English don’t seem to get excited about it. Maybe because England is not an especially religious country, so why care about a saint? Nevertheless, if your organisation is holding a St George’s Day specific event, email me details (deadline March 23) for publication in the April column.
• UK-USA LANGUAGE IRKS: Normally I take the Americans to task over their English language ignorance and mangling. (The Dear Abby nationally syndicated column was published February 23 with the headline: “Couple Can’t Come to Agreeance”. Surely a professional editor knows that it should be Agreement?) But this month I have a compliment to pay Americans – see item 2.
1) First it’s a Brit who appalled me. This was not texted – it was sent as a business email from a 35-year-old. His verbatim punctuation and grammar is cut and pasted here: “…hi im planning on moving to miami september onwards with my wife and newborn child, we have already saw the house we want but before we go ahead an buy, im having difficulty on what visa i would apply for us as a family, we want to start a new life out their but we are not planning to work as we have quite a bit of money in the bank that would keep us financilly secure for rest of are life. please help with my questions. thanks.” Gadzooks. Is this how illiterate our nation has become?
2) I must applaud Americans for inventing the phrase “Hanging out.” Before that, how did we Brits succinctly describe just spending time with somebody, unplanned with no particular agenda, just going with the flow? Hanging out. What brilliantly useful two words.
• NOT ALL BRITS are Brilliant Corner: UK media reported that when The Artist was released, some Liverpudlian cinema-goers demanded a refund on finding out the film was silent.
• BOCA RATON event “Brits At The Bridge” on March 21, from 5:30-8pm. Are You a Briton in the Boca area, work for a company based in the UK, or wish to do business with the UK? Then you’d benefit by attending this networking event, hosted by the British-American Chamber of Commerce at the Bridge Hotel. Call BACC President Roy Yates on (954) 942-7330 and he’ll email you an invitation.
• LOOKING FOR British Clubs and British Events in Your Corner of Florida? I don’t have space on this page to list them all, so drop me an email with your name, city, contact phone and I will reply with details.
• BRITISH STAR ELVIS COSTELLO and The Imposters April 25, at Hard Rock Casino, Hollywood. Call (954) 327-ROCK for ticket information.
• COLUMN SUBMISSIONS: Just opened a British business in the last three months? Have a future British event? Just launched a new British club? Send details (by email only) for possible publication on this page to firstname.lastname@example.org Your name, city and daytime phone necessary. On subject line put: To Patricia – UJ Florida column
The opinions in this column are Patricia Kawaja’s and not necessarily shared by Union Jack Publishing.