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  • Writer's pictureLorna Hamilton

A Memorial For The Late Queen

Members of the Royal Canadian Legion Field Marshal Alexander Branch 11 standing with the wreath laid for the late Queen Elizabeth II. Photo Lorna Hamilton

The Royal Canadian Legion Field Marshal Alexander Branch 11 held a memorial service for the late Her Majesty, the Queen of Canada on September 19. The 20-minute-long service included the singing of O Canada, readings from the scripture, the playing of the Last Post with two minutes of silence, which was followed by a prayer for Queen Elizabeth II, and the laying of a wreath.

Branch President Gary Zayac paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II’s life and military service. He started his tribute by saying, “We join together today to commemorate Queen Elizabeth the Second who died on September 8 at the age of 96.” He then went on to acknowledge how the late Majesty was instrumental in shaping the history of Canada during her extraordinary 70-year reign.

As the Royal Canadian Legion is dedicated to military service members and veterans he dedicated part of his speech to honour Her Majesty for her military service and as Canada’s Commander-in-Chief.

“Queen Elizabeth was the first woman in the Royal family to serve as an active duty member of the British Armed Forces. Shortly after turning 18 in 1944, she insisted upon joining the Auxillary Territorial Services (ATS). There she trained as a driver and a mechanic and was ranked Second Subaltern in the ATS and was promoted five months later to Junior Commander,” stated Zayac.

He commended the Queen for her dedication in her role as Commander-in-Chief of Canada’s military for the past 70 years, and also mentioned her honorary roles such as the Captain-General of the Royal Regiment of the Canadian Artillery, Air Commodore-in Chief of the Air Reserve, and Colonel-in-Chief for the military’s engineer and legal branches and 14 regiments. He finished his tribute by mentioning the Queen’s dignified leadership and commitment to public service, especially in uncertain times.

Another sign of respect and gratitude toward the Monarch was and continues to be made at the Lieutenant Colonel W.C. Craig Armory in Vermilion by flying the Union Jack Flag. Don Henry stated that the Lieutenant Colonel Craig Armories is part of the Loyal Edmonton Regiment which is affiliated with the Lancaster Regiment. The once named Edmonton Regiment was titled the Loyal Edmonton Regiment by King George the Sixth because of the tremendous job they did in 1943 during the invasion of Sicily.

The United Kingdom Union Jack Flag flying at the Armory. Photo submitted

“We have always had a very close relationship with the Monarchy, maybe a little closer than some of the other Regiments in our country, as Commanding Officer of the Loyal Edmonton Regiment Jim Stone actually commanded a regiment at the Queen’s Coronation, so we have always had that relationship,” explained Henry.


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