Her Majesty’s Milestone, & Best Wishes for Vancouver Island’s Milestone!
CEDAR – “Sometimes it takes a Queen to remind us of how lucky we are,” says Laurie Gourlay, President of the Vancouver Island and Coast Conservation Society.
Tomorrow night VICCS Directors Laurie Gourlay and Scott Akenhead will recognize Queen Elizabeth II’s milestone, as well as Her Majesty’s recognition of Vancouver Island’s milestone – presenting a letter recently received from Buckingham Palace at a meeting of the Nanaimo Historical Society.
“…on the occasion of the One Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary of the flag of Vancouver Island …Her Majesty sends her best wishes to all concerned for a most successful and enjoyable year marking this significant milestone.” (June 16th letter from Buckingham Palace)
“We wrote to Her Majesty,” notes Gourlay, “suggesting that Islander’s would welcome recognition of ‘the coastal values and culture of the time, (the flag) providing a symbol of the Island’s identity and aspirations.”
The Society was very pleased to hear back from Buckingham Palace. Nanaimo’s talk will speak to the Royal Family and west coast events surrounding 1865 which led to Queen Victoria providing permission for the Colony of Vancouver Island to unfurl Vancouver Island’s flag.
“Our work for sustainability led us to look at the Island’s culture and stewardship,” says Akenhead. “The Island’s heritage and values, the democratic traditions we share as well as the hard work that laid the foundation of this country, are all reflected in the Vancouver Island flag and our coastal history of 150 years ago.”
VICCS’s talk will also draw attention to our country’s future, suggesting that if Canada is to achieve sustainable development it will need to find the same strength and determination as the early European explorers displayed, along with the independent spirit and inheritance of the First Nations.
“It’s important to remember that the Vancouver Island Flag offers a window into a time before Canada, when two colonies and many First Nations shared the coast,” states Akenhead. “We’d like all British Columbians and Canadians to join with us in celebrating our Island history and culture.”
The two Directors believe that Queen Elizabeth II’s recognition of the Vancouver Island flag, and the historical importance it represents, will encourage Islanders and Canadians to similarly take note of the Island’s 150th milestone …and how the Island contributed to the country’s birth of 1867.
“Vancouver Island was a cornerstone in pre-Confederation Canada,” Gourlay states. “This next year marks the end of the third and last Legislative Assembly of Vancouver Island – the 150th anniversary of the first democratically elected Parliament in the west. We Islanders have a lot to be proud of!”
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For more information:
Laurie Gourlay, President, VICCS, (250 722-3444)
Scott Akenhead, Director, VICCS