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King Billy surrendered

Fri Apr 21, 2006 Miss Vicky 

Kelly Egan, a city columnist for the Citizen, has cleared up a little mystery that's been nagging at me for a while. Of course, I probably could have solved it myself had I chatted with the owner of the Island Park Esso, but I usually walk by there with dog in tow about 7:30 in the morning, so I haven't tried to satisfy my curiosity.

The mystery is a panel on the side of the Esso's new car wash - an image of King William III riding a rearing horse, with the words "No Surrender" underneath. Why on earth would that be there? Is the owner a militant Orangeman? Is it some reference to the battles he had trying to build that car wash - a final statement of defiance to his opponents in the community? Turns out, the panel came from the house that was taken down to make room for the car wash, and the owner thought it would be a nice way of integrating some neighbourhood heritage into the design of the building. Perhaps his understanding of British and Irish history is lacking a tad - well, clearly it is, because he never imagined it would offend anyone. Guess he's never spent any time in Belfast. Once the problematics of the image were pointed out to him, he covered it up under a thick layer of stucco. I understand the dynamics completely (hey, I've been questioned by gun-toting British soldiers on Falls Road ), but now that I know the whole story I'm kind of sad King Billy is gone. He gave me a lot of speculative fun on my morning strolls.

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