The Prince Albert Legion Branch No. 2, ANAVETS, cadets, and emergency services personnel commemorated the life of Queen Elizabeth II on the day of her funeral with a short ceremony in Memorial Square.
Grant Ursaki served as master of ceremonies, a position he usually takes only on Remembrance Day. He said it was important to Queen Elizabeth, the only monarch he and most Prince Albert residents have ever known.
“When I went to school the Queen and Prince Phillip pictures were on the wall,” Ursaki said. “It was God Save the Queen and ‘O Canada’ every morning.”
The Queen provided a sense of stability, Ursaki explained, as well as a great example to people across the world.
“Politicians come and go, Prime Ministers come and go, governments come and go. The Queen was a symbol of the constancy of the nation and the Commonwealth,” he said. “The things that we … say that we stand for, she exemplified that quite well, as well as any human being could especially in a modern society where you are under scrutiny all the time.”
The Legion and ANAVETS wanted to commemorate of the long life, long reign and legacy of Queen Elizabeth II. The event followed a similar format to the traditional Remembrance Day ceremony.
Unfortunately, due to technical issues they were unable to play The Last Post. There was still the two minutes of silence which was followed by a lament from the Piper from the Prince Albert Highlander Pipes and Drums.
This was followed by the followed by the Act of Remembrance and the placing of the wreath by Legion President Rick Hodgson.
Representatives from the RCMP, Navy Cadets and Prince Albert Fire Department were on hand to pay their respects.
In his remarks Hodgson noted how important the Queen was to the Legion.
“Our deep feelings of honour and respect for Her Majesty and our memories of her will remain firm,” he said. “We will never forget her generous patronage and what her support has brought to our organization.”
The Legion was founded in Winnipeg in 1925 as the Canadian Legion of the British Empire Service League. It was later incorporated by a special act of Parliament with its charter issued in 1926. The act was amended in 1961 after the Queen’s agreed to the use of ‘Royal’ in their name.”
The ceremony continued with the playing of God Save the King. The prayer and benediction were done by Father Travis Myrheim of the Archdiocese of Prince Albert.
Everyone in attendance was given a poppy to lay at the Cenotaph following the ceremony.
The event concluded with the marching off of the colour party.
Ursaki has high hopes for King Charles III as he begins his reign.
“She spent 73 years preparing the new King for his job, I hope he does well,” he said.