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101-year-old New West resident among folks to honour Queen Elizabeth

A service in honour of the Queen will take place in Queen’s Park on Sunday, Sept. 18

Eileen Glavin has been glued to the TV screen for the past week, watching news coverage about the Queen Elizabeth II’s death.

Born in England, the 101-year-old New West resident (and former "spy") was five years old when Elizabeth was born. She recently visited Queen’s Park to leave flowers in honour of Queen Elizabeth.

Following the death of Britain’s longest-serving monarch, the New West-based Society of the Officers of the Honourable Guard made arrangements with the City of New Westminster to allow residents to leave flowers for the Queen at the entrance to Queen’s Park at Sixth Avenue and McBride Boulevard.

The society and the Royal Commonwealth Society, B.C. Mainland branch, have organized a memorial service for the late Queen. It’s taking place on Sunday, Sept. 18 at 1 p.m. at the corner of Sixth Avenue and McBride Boulevard in Queen’s Park – the spot where flowers and messages are now being left in honour of the Queen.

“It’s the least we can do for our Queen,” said Rob Rathbun, the society’s president.

Organizers say this event will be the only one of its kind in the Lower Mainland.

“A statement is going to be read from the lieutenant-governor. There is going to be a chaplain officiating. There's going to be a moment of silence. There's going to be some speeches,” Rathbun told the Record. “It's an opportunity to for people to come together and mourn their Queen. And what a better place to have it than in the Royal City?”

Rathbun said folks involved with New Westminster’s May Day are contributing to Sunday’s service.

“On either side of the display, they're putting two of the crown toppers from the maypoles,” he noted, “and these toppers were there in 1971 when the Queen came.”

Rathbun said he drops by Queen’s Park periodically to make sure the flowers are watered and haven’t fallen over.

“Officially, the time of mourning is ended on Tuesday,” he said. “So what we're doing is Tuesday morning we will be taking things down and any of the flowers that are that are still good and potted, we are going to donate them to appropriate local organisations.

Because parking “is a bit of a nightmare” around Sixth and McBride, Rathbun suggests folks arrive on foot or transit, if possible.