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'Thank you for everything, Ma'am': New West remembers the Queen

Personal cards, letters and drawings adorn a memorial at Queen's Park.

Among the dozens of flower arrangements at the entrance to Queen's Park, residents are bidding farewell to Queen Elizabeth II with handwritten cards and farewell messages.

A child's drawing, signed "Noah," takes its place in the display. Nearby is a photo of the monarch, with her trademark smile and hat. Notes left on bouquets include a series of personal messages — "God bless the Queen," "In loving memory of a wonderful Queen. May you now rest in peace" — and a long handwritten letter pays tribute to the long reign of the monarch who died on Sept. 8 at the age of 96.

"We today have lost one of the greatest women our society and indeed the world has ever seen," the letter reads, in part.

"Her Majesty’s steady hand and unwavering service to all her peoples will never be forgotten by the likes of good and honest people. A Queen, which has done so much for us all through the most turbulent times of all human history, yet still managed to care for all corners of her domain will surely stand for the rest of our lives.

"A Queen, who despite being born into a family of utmost importance and grace, devoted herself to the common people throughout her long life and even here, in New Westminster, honoured our city on many visits and paid homage to our greatest traditions, must never be forgotten or besmirched by those so fortunate to live in her nations.

"The end of the Second Elizabethan age, an age which saw empires turn into nations and which saw the modern world, for better and for worse, be born out of the ashes of the old world, will certainly be a turning point in world history, but most of all the loss of a kind and familiar face will be most mourned."

Another bouquet is accompanied by a handwritten card that sums it all up:

"Thank you for everything Ma'am. You are a constant light, and we will never forget. XOXO"

The Queen's Park memorial was spearheaded by the New Westminster-based Society of the Officers of the Honourable Guard, in arrangement with the City of New Westminster.

New Westminster-Burnaby MP Peter Julian is also hosting a condolence book signing at Century House. It will be available for signing from today (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.

Follow Julie MacLellan on Twitter @juliemaclellan.
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