It is not clear when the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II will return to Sidney’s council chamber (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Sidney’s queen’s portrait announcement expected before Christmas

Return awaits completion of town crest, First Nations artwork

It is not clear yet when a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II will return to council chambers.

Randy Humble, Sidney’s chief administrative officer, said Mayor Cliff McNeil-Smith will “have further announcements” about the portrait, as well as a piece of Aboriginal art and the town crest, during his Mayor’s Report at a council meeting in the coming weeks before Christmas.

When asked for comment, McNeil-Smith said he has no further comment at this time, referring instead to Humble’s statement.

Council is scheduled to have regular meetings on Dec. 2 and Dec. 16 with a committee of the whole meeting on Dec. 9.

Humble said in earlier emails that “we look forward to having the portrait back within the next few weeks” along with the town crest. “The First Nations piece has taken a bit longer than anticipated,” he said. He did not give specific reasons for the delay.

RELATED: Sidney’s acting mayor says no one noticed removal of Queen’s portrait

RELATED: Sidney Mayor Cliff McNeil-Smith issues apology over removal of Queen portrait

READ ALSO: Monarchist League of Canada calls Sidney’s removal of Queen’s portrait ‘lamentable’

McNeil-Smith last month apologized for changes in the decor of council chambers that included the removal of a portrait of Elizabeth II. He said in the statement that it was his decision to remove the portrait. “I decided to temporarily take it down until the Sidney Town Crest and First Nations piece were ready to go up together with the Portrait,” he said.

While the statement did not give an exact date, McNeil-Smith earlier talked about that happening in December.

McNeil-Smith said in his statement that he visited many communities with crests hanging prominently in their council chambers. “I believe it would be most appropriate to have the Sidney Town Crest hang on the wall behind me,” he said.

The mayor said in his remarks that Sidney commissioned a crest in the late 1960s. A large carving hung in council chambers for many years until it became damaged. A small replica of an updated crest currently sits on his desk.

McNeil-Smith’s statement also addressed the question of why he did not leave the portrait behind him or move elsewhere until the town crest and First Nations piece were ready.

“To be honest, giving the First Nations territorial acknowledgement felt empty with only the portrait, which yes, represents our Constitutional Monarchy, but is also seen as a symbol of our colonial past,” he said, in pointing to the Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which he says speaks of “decolonization and reconciliation.”

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com


Like us on Facebook and follow @wolfgang_depner

Just Posted

Victoria harpist releases ‘old school’ jazz album, makes singing debut

Musician ‘blown away’ by reactions to her seventh album Songs From the Harp

WestShore Skatepark Coalition faces uphill battle as costs jump $166,000

‘It feels like a David and Goliath situation,’ says coalition member

Victoria’s Christmas bird count set to take flight

More volunteers needed on the West Shore for Dec. 14 count

Trees topped, greenery snatched from Saanich park

‘If everyone took one thing, there’d be nothing left,’ says president of park society

West Shore Parks and Rec offers holiday childcare alternatives

Camps available on days many daycares close

VIDEO: SNL skewers Trudeau’s mockery of Trump in high school cafeteria sketch

The three world leaders won’t let Trump sit at the cool kids’ table

B.C. universities post $340 million worth of surpluses thanks to international student tuition

Students call for spending as international enrolment produces huge surpluses at many universities

Conservatives urge Morneau to deliver ‘urgent’ fall economic update

Morneau says the first thing the Liberals plan to do is bring in their promised tax cut for the middle class

INFOGRAPHIC: How much money did your local university or college make last year?

B.C. university and colleges posted a combined $340 million surplus in 2018/19

B.C. creates $8.5M organization to improve safety for health care workers

Group will bring together unions, province, health care organizations

Kovrig clings to humour as ‘two Michaels’ near one year in Chinese prison

Their detention is widely viewed as retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Chinese high-tech scion Meng Wanzhou

B.C. VIEWS: An engine that hums right along

First Nations are leading a new surge of investment in B.C.

Brain injury from domestic abuse a ‘public health crisis,’ says B.C. researcher

Nearly 80% of the domestic violence victims who reported to police last year were women

Most Read