As the United Kingdom marked the Platinum Jubilee of Elizabeth II with countless celebrations June 2-5, local festivities were less frequent and public, but no less enthusiastic.
On Thursday afternoon at the Seahorse Cafe Central Saanich, David Spence, president of the Royal Commonwealth Society Vancouver Island, and Kenny Podmore, Sidney’s Town Crier, organized an informal, private event. Trumpeter Wayne Speller provided the musical opening and Ryan Trelford of the Saanich Peninsula Legion Branch #37 served as a one-person colour guard.
Highlights included Podmore’s reading of a special proclamation at 1:58 p.m. local time in line with the official program, and the lighting of a special beacon, which in this case was a patio heater.
Podmore also played a part in official Jubilee celebrations after being approached by the Queen’s representative. His photo, name and biographical data appears in the official program as part of an honour roll recognizing town criers around the world. CBC Television chose him as one of five town criers to record the proclamation which aired on the morning of the start of celebrations across Canada.
Podmore said the celebrations in the the United Kingdom blew him away.
“I thought they were just absolutely amazing. I’m proud to be a dual-citizen and it was just spectacular. It all went through a hitch — the colour, the splendor, Her Majesty showing her presence when she could. It was just outstanding.”
Saanich Peninsula Presbyterian Church in the 9200-block of East Saanich also hosted a British-themed tea party on June 4 at 3 p.m. as part of the celebrations.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.