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Williams Lake honours Queen Elizabeth II with cenotaph ceremony

Queen Elizabeth II was honoured in Williams Lake with a ceremony organized by the Royal Canadian Legion at the cenotaph Monday, Sept. 19.

Queen Elizabeth II was honoured in Williams Lake with a ceremony organized by the Royal Canadian Legion at the cenotaph Monday, Sept. 19.

Legion president Dave Brideau, dressed in his Canadian Ranger uniform, led a parade comprised of the RCMP, Legionnaires and Colour Party that marched from the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex to city hall for a memorial service.

After the national anthem was played over a loud speaker, MC Vivian McNeil asked for two minutes of silence.

Immediately afterwards Doug White and Aubrey Jackson, played the bagpipes, something White did at the Queen’s Father King George VI’s funeral on Feb. 15, 1952 in England.

Legion first vice-president Gord Keener placed a wreath in honour of the queen and after the ceremony members of the public were invited to pay their respects and place a poppy on the wreath.

“As we say farewell to our beloved queen let us send our condolences to King Charles and the Royal Family in their sorrow,” McNeil said.

The ceremony ended with singing God Save The King.

White, who will be 93 on his next birthday, said he was stationed in Germany and all of a sudden he was in London, England with the pipe band.

“It was out of this cotton-pickin’ world,” he said of the experience to play at the king’s funeral. “It was a real good experience.”

Queen Elizabeth II was an amazing woman all her life, White added.

“And she knew where it was at.”

Jackson said it was quite an emotional time.

“Queen Elizabeth has been constant in all of our lives forever and she’s done a noble job in her position as queen,” he said. “She’s been with us through the Cold War, she’s been with us in the ups and downs that the society has faced.”

His grandmother dined with the queen and his mother was born the same year as the queen.

“My mother absolutely loved the queen and in turn I did because my mother did.”

Clutching a framed photograph of the queen, Marla Samborski had tears in her eyes as she approached the cenotaph with her daughter Kalelin Marianne Kirk.

“My father gave me it,” Samborski said of the photo. “He was in the Canadian Armed Forces and was a pilot in World War Two.”

Recalling being a child during the coronation of the Queen Elizabeth, she said there was a ceremony in her school yard. The mother and daughter both met the queen. Kirk was in Brownies as a young girl when the queen visited Peace Arch Park in the early 70s.

“We had to learn how to curtsy properly and our troop and pack went there. It was a really special occasion. Mom was Tawny Owl.”

Legion member Marlene Combs was handing out poppies for the public and echoed Jackson saying the Queen was always there.

“It’s going to be different without her. It was a long time to reign.”

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Monica Lamb-Yorski

About the Author: Monica Lamb-Yorski

A B.C. gal, I was born in Alert Bay, raised in Nelson, graduated from the University of Winnipeg, and wrote my first-ever article for the Prince Rupert Daily News.
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