INNISFAIL – On June 2 Jubilee Beacons will be lit in Canada and the other 53 countries of the Commonwealth.
At the same time a Commonwealth song will be sung by choirs all over the world. In Canada, town criers at 2 p.m. in cities across the country will proclaim “oyez, oyez” before reciting a specially-scripted proclamation to announce the lighting of jubilee beacons that evening.
On that day the Innisfail Legion Pipe Band will play a song.
The celebration is for the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, and her historic and remarkable 70-year service to the citizens of the United Kingdom, the realms and the Commonwealth, including Canadians from coast to coast.
On Saturday, June 4 at Innisfail’s Ol’ Moose Hall, the Innisfail and District Historical Society is hosting the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Tea at the Ol’ Moose Hall from 1 to 4 p.m.
“It’s such a beautiful historical structure and we can accommodate more people, so why not do it there,” said Anna Lenters, the president of the historical society, adding it’s important to honour the Queen’s service due to the length of her reign, and for the example she has set for other women as a female leader.
“We have done our research and want to make sure we follow all the necessary protocols," she said.
The last time the historical society had a special tea to celebrate the monarchy was 11 years ago for the marriage of Kate Middleton and Prince William on April 29, 2011.
In 2015, Queen Elizabeth II became the Commonwealth’s longest-reigning monarch. She ascended to the throne in February of 1952 at the age of 25 following the passing of her father, King George VI.
Following a year of mourning, her coronation was held on June 2, 1953.
During her reign, the Queen has made 22 official tours of Canada, more than any other Commonwealth country. She has visited Alberta several times, including in 1990 when she visited Red Deer, the closest she ever came to Innisfail.
But that has never dampened local enthusiasm for the Queen.
Lenters said there will be a photo display of the Queen during the June 4 celebration. It will also serve as a photo booth for citizens who can have a photo taken in front of a back drop of pictures featuring the monarch’s reign.
Lenters noted that due to strict protocols for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee only specific colours of purple, silver and cream can be displayed at celebrations.
“We had to go online and you can only use specific colours. They even give you the pantone colour numbers so if you are creating anything you can have the paint made up. It is that specific,” said Lenters.
She added the afternoon will also honour the Women’s Institute (WI), a community-based organization for women in the United Kingdom, Canada, South Africa and New Zealand.
“Because the Queen has reigned in service of the people, I would like to also honour women of service in Innisfail, and that would be the ladies auxiliary, women who has served in the Second World War, and women who are currently members of the WI,” said Lenters, noting the closest WI branch to Innisfail was the Cottonwood Women's Institute. “This is because she did serve in the WI and this is an extension of her ethics.
“She was also one of the first monarchs, and she learned this from her father, to be of service to the public,” added Lenters. “He really (encouraged) girls to be in service to the public, which was a change of attitude amongst monarchs.”
As for how many citizens are able to attend the celebration at the Ol’ Moose Hall, Lenters said there will be 80 tickets available. Each ticket will cost $25. They can be reserved by calling the Innisfail and District Historical Village at 403-227-2906.