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LETTER: Unity and music triumph at Sooke Fall Fair

Iona Campagnolo, inspects uniforms when she was B.C. lieutenant-governor, before giving the speech from the throne at the B.C. legislature in Victoria on Feb. 14, 2006. Campagnolo visited Sooke in 2002 to open the Sooke Fine Arts Show. (Deddeda Stemler/The Canadian Press)

Re: Iona Campagnolo’s enduring legacy in Sooke (News, April 18)

I remember Iona Campagnola as president of the Sooke Fall Fair in 2006. I had just been elected and was looking for a memorable opening. I thought of the lieutenant-governor, and with Elida Peers’ help, an invitation was sent to her office in Victoria.

Her staff’s reply was affirmative but with a stipulation. They requested that “O Canada” and “God Save the Queen” be played and sung.

I then approached Norman Nelson, the late music director of the Sooke Philharmonic, who agreed to supply a string quartet but no singer. So far, so good.

The singer said yes, but in two special keys. Norman said they were wrong and that the two anthems should be played with standard keys. I was now a bit over my head until Norman suggested one of the players could transpose the keys to suit the singer. Wow! Problem solved.

The day went well, and the lieutenant-governor gave a well-received speech to a receptive and enthusiastic fall fair crowd.

That is a lovely memory of a day earlier that worried me.

Fred Whittaker