A memorial to Queen Elizabeth II is growing in Queen's Park, as New Westminster residents leave flowers, cards and notes in honour of the monarch.
The New Westminster-based Society of the Officers of the Honourable Guard has arranged with the City of New Westminster for flowers to be placed in memory of the Queen at the corner of McBride Boulevard and Sixth Avenue, in front of the Queen’s Park sign.
A large sign has also been added in memory of the Queen.
Rob Rathbun, a member of the society, said the group had an “overwhelming response” to its Jubilee Display on Canada Day, and is proud it had the opportunity to pay tribute to the Queen. Starting on the afternoon of Friday, Sept. 9, the public is invited to place flowers at the Queen’s Park sign starting Sept. 9 to commemorate Queen Elizabeth.
New West resident and pedestrian advocate Vic Leach said the area around Sixth Avenue and McBride Boulevard is a very busy intersection, especially during the weekday rush-hour traffic, so people must think about parking. He said people can park in Queen's Park and walk down the path to the sign to leave flowers for the Queen – at the same spot where hundreds of flowers were left to commemorate Price Philip when he died in April 2021.
The City of New Westminster has lowered the flags at civic facilities to half-staff, and they will remain lowered until sunset on the day of the memorial service for the Queen, which is on Sept. 19.
In accordance with protocol, the city will be temporarily raised to full-mast on Sept. 10, which is the day on which the accession of the new monarch, His Majesty King Charles III, will be proclaimed.
New Westminster City Hall will be lit up blue for the 10-day period of mourning. (The city’s website notes that city hall will continue to be lit up blue following the Queen’s memorial service because it’s also the colour for Prostate Cancer Awareness Month in September.)
New Westminster-Burnaby MP Peter Julian is hosting a condolence book signing at Century House. It will be available for signing from Monday, Sept. 12 to Friday, Sept. 16 from 10 a.m. to noon daily.
If visitors wish to bring flowers, the city has designated a spot for them outside the entrance of the facility.
The Province’s Office of Protocol has organized two locations for in-person condolence book signing in British Columbia.
"I know there are many British Columbians who are feeling a great sense of loss at this time and would like to share their feelings of sympathy with The Royal Family," said Premier John Horgan in a press release.
You can access the online condolence book at https://tinyurl.com/BCCondolencesforQueen.
For folks in Victoria, a condolence book is available in the Hall of Honour at the Parliament Buildings from Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. In Vancouver, a condolence book is available at the Great Hall in the Vancouver Law Courts building during regular working hours.
According to the province, the books will remain available for signing until the day after the Queen's funeral. Messages will be collected and bound into a book of condolence; books will be kept within national and provincial archives in perpetuity.