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County’s Legions lay wreaths in honour of Queen Elizabeth

Local legion branches came together on the day of the funeral for Queen Elizabeth II to honour her with a remembrance ceremony.

A severe thunderstorm and torrential rain had organizers changing plans at the last minute for the event that was to held at the cenotaph in Wellington park at 11 a.m. Monday morning.

Instead, nearby Wellington United Church was opened up so the brief service could be conducted under dryer conditions. However, the rain did ease enough for wreaths to be re-laid afterward at the entrance to Wellington Park.

Participating were members of the Royal Canadian Legion branches of Wellington (Branch 160), Consecon (Branch 509) and Picton (Branch 78).

Padre Bob Hicks began with the singing of the Canadian national anthem followed by a moment of silence, then prayers and the Lord’s Prayer.

Hicks gave thanks to Queen Elizabeth II’s long and devoted service to God, to members of the commonwealth and to the world.

“Her majesty had been a wonderful example of service above self during her reign; she gave us, in a world of tumultuous change, a sense of familiarity and stability,” said Hicks.

Technical difficulties meant a recording of the Last Post and the Rouse didn’t materialize.

Three wreaths were laid inside the church by a representative of each of the three Legion branches, followed by the singing of the royal anthem, God Save the King.

In attendance was Prince Edward County Mayor Steve Ferguson who noted the “remarkable” occasion.

“Everybody grew up with the Queen, I know I certainly did,” said Ferguson. “From the time I was a little wee kid going to kindergarten, there was always a picture of Her Majesty over a door or somewhere on a wall, and we were singing the national anthem at the time.”

Ferguson said the Queen set an example for everybody.

“We learned about her, the royal family and very importantly providing service, and the importance of providing service to other members of the community,” added Ferguson.

Buck Buchanan, service officer and poppy chairman (and past president) with Royal Canadian Legion Wellington branch thanked those members who came from the other two branches for a tri-Legion effort.

Legion veterans and colour parties then moved outside to lay the wreaths again, this time in front of Wellington park, as the dark clouds parted.

Wellington Main Street was temporarily closed to traffic to accommodate the event until noon, between Maple Street and Wharf Street.

The Queen consented to the use of ‘Royal’ by the Canadian Legion in 1961. She was a veteran herself, having served during the Second World War as an army driver and mechanic.

The monarch’s state funeral in London, England took place earlier in the day, beginning at 6 a.m. (11 o’clock British time) following her passing on Sept. 8 at age 96. She was the longest reigning British monarch having marked 70 years on the throne this year during platinum jubilee celebrations over the summer.

Books of condolences have been available to the public at various locations in the County (Wellington, Ameliasburgh and Picton) up until last Friday to share thoughts and messages of condolence, as well as online at the County website.

Canadian flags flying at municipal buildings throughout the County were lowered to half-staff upon word of the monarch’s death, and are be raised again following today’s funeral.

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