IT SEEMS the whole world celebrate St Patrick' w Day - well, except for his namesake schools in West Cumbria that is.

A trawl through our photo archives revealed nearly 400 ;pictures relating to my search for St Patrick.

All of these, bar one, were photos of Our Lady & St Patrick School in Maryport and St Patrick's School in Workington.

The bar one? That was a dog from Ireland.

The photo, for our "cute pets" section, featured Jess” the faithful friend of Tom and Joan Hodgson, of Newlands Park, Dearham.

Jess was from Northern Ireland,where she was the family pet of Tom and Joan’s son Jonathan, a dog handler in the RAF.

Jonathan was due to go on a posting to Germany and he asked Tom and Joan, while over in Ireland on a visit, if they would take Jess back to Cumbria with them.

The photo, by the way, was taken on St Patrick's Day!

Maybe the schools do mark the day but haven't told us.

O certainly know that, at an Assumption Convent boarding school in South Africa, without a Patrick in the title, St Patrick meant a boiled egg for breakfast and ice cream at lunchtime plus a day off school. He was definitely one of our favourite saints!

It seems he is the favourite saint for many. His day, March 17, is celebrated throughout the world.

Not only do Northern Ireland and the Republic have days off for his feast day, but so do at least two provinces in Canada and the British territory of Montserrat.

The day itself is celebrated throughout the world, often with parades such as in the United States.

Green becomes the dominant colour - even to the extent of putting green colouring in mashed potatoes, And, of course, having a Guinness is almost obligatory!

Patrick was a fifth century Roman Bishop credited with bringing Christianity to and driving snakes from Ireland. But the reason for these celebrations more than a thousand years later may simply be due to the fact that the Irish know how to have a good time and have led by example!