Ottawa Lighthouse, Pipe Band and Town Criers to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

OTTAWA—
The Queen has made no secret of her affection for Canada, which she has visited 22 times during nearly seven decades on the throne

Now Canada is preparing to honor the 95-year-old royal – Canada’s head of state and the world’s longest-serving monarch – with a series of tributes to mark her 70 years on the throne, including lighting of a giant lighthouse in Ottawa.

The beacon is one of 1,500 that will be lit in the capitals of all Commonwealth countries and across the UK on June 2.

COVID-19 means Platinum Jubilee celebrations could prove more low-key than Queen Elizabeth’s Silver Jubilee in 1977, which included street parties and concerts, her Golden Jubilee in 2002 or her Golden Jubilee diamond in 2012.

But a plan has already been drawn up in London, England, for events across the Commonwealth, including Canada.

The anniversary of the Queen’s accession to the throne falls on February 6, but most celebrations are held in the first week of June as the weather is better. His previous jubilee celebrations have all been held in the summer.

In Canada, plans for June 2 call for town criers at 2 p.m. in cities across the country to proclaim “hear hear” before reciting a specially written proclamation in honor of the Queen’s historic reign, and announcing the lighting of the jubilee headlights that evening. .

Just before the Ottawa Lighthouse is lit, the buglers will play a written bugle call for the Jubilee named “Majesty”. Before that, pipers from British Columbia to the Maritimes will play a composition by a champion piper titled “Diu Regnare” — Latin for “long to reign”.

The Queen, born in 1926, ascended the throne in February 1952, aged 27, after the death of her father, King George VI. She sat on the throne longer than Queen Victoria.

The federal government is preparing “a series of initiatives to mark the Queen’s remarkable 70 years of service,” said a spokeswoman for Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez. These initiatives should include the minting of a commemorative coin and a stamp.

The Department of Heritage has also established a Jubilee Fund offering $5,000 grants for community projects to mark the occasion, such as a parade, planting of a memorial tree, holding a concert or organizing of a festival of lights. Schools, universities, non-profit organizations and tribal councils are among those who can apply for the funding.

In the UK, community projects in the works include baking competitions and the planting of Royal Oaks.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said the Ottawa sign in the capital’s ByWard Market will be lit purple – “the color of royalty” – to mark the day. The mayor will also prepare a video message to mark the occasion.

An official ‘how to celebrate’ guide has been written in the UK, much of it aimed at the Commonwealth.

Choirs across the Commonwealth are encouraged in the guide to rehearse an official song, the sheet music of which is included.

Ottawa Town Crier Daniel Richer, who is named to the Guide’s Honor Roll, said he would make the official Platinum Jubilee proclamation live and on social media.

Richer, Canada’s only bilingual town crier, met the Queen on the Isle of Wight, off the UK’s south coast, in 1987 during the final of a town crier championship – where he said that she had been surprised when 100 town criers rang their bells simultaneously.

Since then, Richer has defended his title of “world’s most stylish town crier” at the World Town Crier Championships.

Richer said town criers across Canada have already begun to learn of the official Jubilee Proclamation, which includes a tribute to the Queen and the lines: “How fitting that this is the platinum anniversary of her accession – platinum, the noblest of metals, the most precious even than gold.

The role of town criers making proclamations on royal occasions dates back to long before the age of newspapers. In medieval times, most people in England were illiterate and relied on town criers to announce the daily news.

Canadian pipe bands from British Columbia to Nova Scotia are also named to a Pipers Honor Roll in the Official Jubilee Guide, including the 78 Highlanders Halifax Citadel Pipe Band, two-time North American champions.

Piper Roderick Maclean, manager of the Halifax Orchestra, said it was “the beginning,” but he and other pipers will study the Jubilee composition of piper Major Stuart Liddell, a champion piper.

“I’m sure it’s stellar. He’s one of the best on the planet,” Maclean said.

The Jubilee Guide includes the promise of a smart new set of bagpipes for the piper playing the anthem, Diu Regnare, in “the most unusual place”.

The guide also suggests that British and Commonwealth citizens build their own beacons, whether giant bonfires or gas braziers, and light them at 9.45pm on June 2. The guide comes with detailed plans on how to build them and says they could be lit in parks and on top of cliffs, with a fire extinguisher to hand at all times.

Various pre-made jubilee beacons are featured in the guide, including a two-meter-tall gas beacon in the shape of a globe, representing Commonwealth countries, surmounted by a crown and inscribed 1952-2022.

“Some of the advantages of this style of beacon are that it can be seen for miles when turned on, it is suitable for all sorts of high and low places, it is easily foldable, and when used, it can be put away for later use,” the guide says. .

The guide offers a Platinum Jubilee beacon pie recipe, with ingredients representing the four nations of the UK: cheddar cheese (England), potatoes (Northern Ireland), smoked salmon (Scotland) and leeks (Wales) .

Canada’s Conservatives have called on the government to award commemorative medals to mark the occasion. In 2012, the government awarded 60,000 Diamond Jubilee Medals, including to police officers, firefighters and indigenous leaders. Musicians Justin Bieber and Gordon Lightfoot received one of these medals, as did members of the 2012 Olympic team at a ceremony on Parliament Hill.

The Rotary Club and other organizations are planning their own celebrations, a spokesperson for the mayor of Ottawa said. But COVID-19 is likely to put a damper on plans for street parties.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on January 22, 2022.

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