Memorial Services for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother - April 2002

At the 10.30am Worship Service on April 7 2002 three St John's Cathedral parishioners shared their thoughts and memories of the Queen Mother with the congregation; their presentations are included below. Then, on Friday, April 12, 2002, a crowd of over 300 gathered at the Cathedral to remember and to celebrate the life of Her Majesty the Queen, The Queen Mother.

At the 10.30am Worship Service on April 7 2002 three St John's Cathedral parishioners shared their thoughts and memories of the Queen Mother with the congregation. These are their presentations.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother - Some Memories by Heather A. Punshon

The Honorable Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon was born on the 4th of August in the year 1900. She was the ninth child of Claude George Bowes-Lyon, Lord Glamis, and Nina Cecilia Cavendish-Bentinck. Her birthplace was London, and the family lived at St Paul's Walden Bury near Hitchin in Hertfordshire. Elizabeth was the youngest girl and the second last child in the family, the youngest being her brother David.

Although she was born in England, her parents were Scottish and she always considered herself to be Scottish. The ancestral home, Glamis Castle was given to the Lyon family in 1372. The ninth Earl married an heiress Mary Eleanor Bowes of County Durham whose father's fortune was built on coal mining. The tenth Earl took the surname Bowes- Lyon.

The world changed almost unrecognizably around Elizabeth. The Boer War was still being fought and the Wright brothers were yet to fly when she was born. At the time of her birth, Britain's empire spread across the planet. In her final years European countries were calling for closer and closer integration. She saw two World Wars, the Russian Revolution, electricity for the common people, television, a man land on the moon, computers.

In 1904, she became the Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon when her father became the 14th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne. Elizabeth liked to be known as Elizabeth Lyon. Governesses conducted her education almost entirely at home. Despite the lack of formal education, however, she was able to speak fluent French by the age of ten. Two family homes that the family often visited were close to my home in England - Streatlam Castle in County Durham, England and the beautiful gardens of Gibside Hall, about a mile from where I lived as a child./p>

War was declared on her 14th birthday, August 4, 1914. The family home, Glamis Castle in Scotland, became a hospital, and she was drafted to run errands for the wounded troops. This experience has been seen as contributing to the common touch the Queen Mother became so famous for. Unfortunately, the war also brought tragedy with the death of her brother Fergus during the Battle of Loos in 1915. Another brother, Michael, was held prisoner for two years.

Elizabeth was a much sought-after debutante who had many suitors. The Bowes-Lyon family had long socialized in Royal circles. It is said that Prince Albert, the man who would become King George VI first met his bride-to-be at a birthday party when she was five. But it was when they met as adults - when she was 20 - that Albert, a shy man with a stammer, determined to marry her despite her initial reluctance. He proposed three times before she accepted him. The engagement was announced in January 1923. On April 26 1923 the couple were married in Westminster Abbey. A film of the festivities shown throughout the country at movie theatres proved very popular, but a radio broadcast was forbidden during the actual service, as church authorities feared that "disrespectful people wearing hats might listen in public houses."

Their wedding represented a complete break from the past, in that it was presented for the first time as a Royal romance. Previously, Royal marriages had been seen as alliances among European royal families.

The Royal couple was blessed with two daughters. Elizabeth Alexandra Mary was born on April 21 1926 at the family home 145 Piccadilly, in London. Their younger daughter, Margaret Rose, was born on August 23 1930 at Glamis Castle, the Scottish home of the Bowes-Lyon family.

After 14 years of relatively quiet domesticity together, the Duke and Duchess of York were thrust into the public limelight with the abdication crisis. Elizabeth worried about the effect the full glare of public life would have on her shy stammering husband. But, duty to the fore, she is credited with making her "Bertie" as he was known into the King he was, getting the help of a voice coach for his stammer, and often taking the lead at social occasions.

The pair was crowned George VI and Queen Consort at Westminster Abbey in May 1937. Elizabeth became the first Scottish Queen for about 800 years.

HM The Queen Mother, 1900-2002 by John Duerkop

To quote our Prime Minister, "the life of the Queen Mother spanned more than a century of breathtaking change and global transformation. Throughout, she was a touchstone of timeless values and continuity."

She lived in the reigns of six sovereigns: born under Victoria before Saskatchewan existed, raised under Edward VII and George V, lived briefly under Edward VIII, was consort to George VI, and dowager Queen or Queen Mother under her daughter Elizabeth II. She was the last Empress of India.

She first came to Canada on the Royal Tour of 1939, the first visit to Canada by a reigning sovereign. The King and Queen traveled west on the Canadian Pacific Railway and returned east on Canadian National, including a stop in Saskatoon. It was in Ottawa after the dedication of the National War Memorial that she saw a group of veterans off to the side and changed direction, dragging the King with her, to plunge into the crowd. And so the Royal walkabout was born.

She could be forthright. During the blitz it was suggested that Elizabeth and Margaret Rose be evacuated to Canada. The Queen's response was, "The children could not go without me, I could not go without the King, and the King will never leave." She was just as forthright when Buckingham Palace was bombed for the first time. She said, "It makes me feel I can look the East End in the face."

After the death of her husband she went into seclusion. It was Winston Churchill who supposedly convinced her there was a role for her to play and that she should not go into retirement as the preceding Queen Mothers Alexandra and Mary had when their husbands died. It is likely, however, that the Queen Mum would have done it herself.

She invented a new role for herself as an energetic representative of what Prince Philip called the "family firm." She became a working woman playing second fiddle only to the Queen. A staunch Anglican, she also believed in doing one's duty, having been heard to say "the work you do is the rent you pay for your time on earth."

Up to ten years ago she regularly attended more than 100 official functions a year. She was still attending official functions last fall. She was the president or patron of over 300 organizations and traveled all over the world. The Queen Mum visited Canada 12 more times after 1939, came back to Saskatchewan in 1985, and to Canada for the last time in 1989.

She was Colonel in Chief of 12 regiments, three of them Canadian - Royal Highlanders of Canada Canadian Black Watch, Toronto Scottish the Queen Mother's Own, Canadian Army Medical Corps. Soldiers from all three marched in the procession from Clarence House to Westminster Hall Friday.

As the Governor General said, "Her Royal title could not eclipse her enormous warmth, joie de vivre, and good humour." Indeed, in contrast to Queen Mary who apparently never smiled, Elizabeth ALWAYS smiled. She was never a democrat, but was very interested in people. There is the famous story of her leaving a regimental dinner at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montréal in 1987 when she could not help but hear the noise from a French secondary school graduation dance in another ballroom. She stopped in at the dance to find out what the "young people" were doing and was warmly welcomed. Then there is the story of when she was on a garden tour in the East End of London, also in the 1980s, and she stepped into a pub and pulled herself a glass of bitter.

It should not be a surprise, considering the work she undertook, but was significant for an upper class woman born in 1900, that she believed in the equality of women. It was no coincidence that when drawing up plans for her own funeral she included the Princess Royal, Princess Anne, amongst those walking behind the gun carriage. No woman had ever done that before at a Royal funeral.

She was a symbol of stability, a humanizing influence in the monarchy, and she will be sorely missed.

My Recollections of the Queen Mother by Tina Colistro

All of us here were born during the lifetime of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, and each will have personal thoughts, memories and moments in their lives that were touched by her in some way. I invite you to hold your special memories of her in your hearts throughout this service, watching the funeral on Tuesday and at the memorial service here on Friday.

My first memory of the Royal Family was in 1953, when at the age of 5, I stood outside Buckingham Palace, to see the newly crowned Queen and Prince Philip drive past as they left London on their first official visit to Northern Ireland. My view of the spectacle was greatly helped by a kind stranger who lifted me up above the heads of those in front of me. The Royal Family I watched then already had a Queen Mother.

She had had many roles before she became Queen Mother. During my parent's lifetime she was: the beautiful young woman who captured the heart of a Duke; the devoted young mother of two daughters; the great support to her husband as he stepped into his brother's shoes, and became King. Her calm devotion to duty and to the people restored the faith in the monarchy that the abdication had so badly shaken.

My mother was in Liverpool and my father on the North Atlantic during the Second World War. But still their lives were touched by the then Queen Elizabeth as she remained with the people in London throughout the conflict. As children we heard the stories of this admirable lady.

As I grew up she was always a presence performing her royal duties and giving the "family" touch to the Royal Family. On graduating from high school, I went to London University's Queen Elizabeth College where the Queen Mother was Chancellor. The big thrill of graduating was to receive my degree from her at Royal Albert Hall. This I did following in the footsteps of Archbishop Tom Morgan who earlier had received a degree from King's College at London University.

As I reflect on such a long and active life, I am struck by how Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, was able to be her best in each of the roles she fulfilled. She was able to forge a new role for herself as Queen Mother; this she carried out with grace and humanity. Truly a life to celebrate, and give thanks for.

The Province of Saskatchewan's Memorial Service for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother

On Friday, April 12, 2002, a crowd of over 300 gathered at the Cathedral to remember and to celebrate the life of Her Majesty the Queen, The Queen Mother.

Her Honour the Honourable Dr. Lynda M. Haverstock and His Honour Harley Olsen were welcomed by the Most Reverend Thomas Morgan, Metropolitan of Rupert's Land and Archbishop of Saskatoon, and the Dean and Rector of the Cathedral, The Very Reverend Susan Charbonneau.

Among the dignitaries attending the Memorial Service, sponsored by the Province of Saskatchewan, were Premier Lorne Calvert and Mrs Betty Calvert, former Premier the Hon. Allan Blakeney, P.C., O.C., S.O.M., and Mrs. Anne Blakeney, and representatives of both the Provincial and Federal Judiciaries. Provincial Chief of Protocol Michael Jackson joined in the procession with Mayor James Maddin and Deputy Police Chief Dan Wiks.

Dean Charbonneau led the service. The Reverend Brenda Nestegaard-Paul, Redeemer Lutheran Church (Biggar) read 1 Corinthians 15: 51-57. Father Len Cyr, St Paul's Roman Catholic Church (Saskatoon) read Revelation 21: 1-7. Reverend Jim MacKay, St Andrew's Presbyterian Church (Saskatoon) led prayers for Her Majesty The Queen Mother, for Canada and for the world.

Lieutenant Governor Haverstock spoke of meeting the Queen at Buckingham Palace and seeing the Queen Mother at one of the events for her 100th birthday. Her Honour spoke of the Queen Mother's compassion for everyone, and how she was widely loved and respected. Finally, Lieutenant Governor Haverstock said that the Queen Mother "will be greatly missed and not soon forgotten."

The hour-long service was attended by representatives of:

Cadets that paraded were Navy League of Canada and Royal Canadian Sea Cadets, and 107 and 702 (Lynx) Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Cadets.

To celebrate The Queen Mother's life, Dennis Moffatt a teacher at Nutana Collegiate, brought an interesting collection of photos of The Queen Mother spanning 1937 to 1952. Student Barbara Bowie had assembled the collection. The photos, along with articles from Canadian newspapers, were displayed in the Cathedral. Citizens had the opportunity to sign the Book of Remembrance that will be sent to the Royal Family.

At a reception held in the Cathedral hall everyone had an opportunity to meet the Lt. Governor, and reminisce about the Queen Mother over a cup of English tea, coffee, or a cold drink of Kool-Aid.

Dean Susan Charbonneau organized the service with assistance from Music Director Gregory Schulte. Provincial Chief of Protocol Michael Jackson provided advice. As the Dean's right hand, Tina Cresswell played a key role in bringing it all together.

As with every successful event, many people played supporting roles. To each, a special "thank you" for all your help!

Remarks by Her Honour The Lieutenant Governor, Province of Saskatchewan Memorial Services for The Queen Mother, April 12, 2002 - Saskatoon

Imagine living a vibrant life for 100 years. Imagine visiting peoples on all of the world's continents. Imagine being born a "commoner" and dying a Queen. This, of course, sounds like the stuff of which fiction is made. It was, however, the reality of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother.

Much has been written about The Queen Mother over the past week; one of the best descriptions was made by her grandson, His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, who depicted her as "gloriously unstoppable". Even at the age of 101, many were unprepared for her passing.

Over her long and eventful life, The Queen Mother proved herself to be a skilful and gracious ambassador for the Commonwealth and the Monarchy, and a wise counsellor to the King and her family. One of her most significant roles was as matriarch to a nation during the Second World War. The power of her influence was best described not by the British, with whom she stood shoulder to shoulder throughout the blitz, but by Hitler, who called her "the most dangerous person in Europe". This, he said, of a 5'2" Scottish charmer.

Having lived nearly half of her life as a widow, The Queen Mother focused much of her energy in support of the organizations she loved. She acted as Patron to many worthy charities, including the Canadian Red Cross Society. She was Honorary Member of Women's College Hospital in Toronto, the Law Society of Upper Canada, and Grand President of the Victorian Order of Nurses in Canada; the list is remarkable. She touched the lives of thousands of people whom she greeted with her characteristic warmth, including those who had the good fortune to meet her when she visited Saskatchewan with the King on their historic trip of 1939 and when she returned in 1985.

The Queen Mother made fourteen visits to Canada, the last in 1989 on the fiftieth anniversary of her first visit. She was Colonel-in-Chief of three Canadian regiments, including The Toronto Scottish that recently received the honour of the additional title "Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother's Own".

This unique individual gave a formal institution a human touch; her cheerful and fun-loving nature and unabashed joie de vivre brought the Monarchy closer to the people. And even though she lived a life of privilege, in love and loss and in determination to contribute to others, she was like every citizen who has endured war, lost a loved one, and still rose each day to live it to the full.

One of my favourite memories of The Queen Mother was her one-hundredth-birthday pageant. As good fortune would have it, my husband and I were scheduled to meet Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace in the summer of 2000. This enabled us to attend one of several celebrations commemorating The Queen Mother's birthday. We sat in the stands, surrounded by international dignitaries, at the historic Horse Guards Parade in London. We were seated just a few rows behind The Queen Mother and Prince Charles. Each time one of the charities for which she was Patron passed by in the parade, she would rise from her chair. She also saluted the veterans in the parade. This one hundred year-old woman stood to show respect and thanks for their service. I was told that she was apprehensive about speaking due to her inability to read notes, but she was determined to express her gratitude and did so with such eloquence.

Throughout her long life, The Queen Mother witnessed dramatic changes in the world and in her family. She remained a steadying presence, showing compassion and kindness to people everywhere. Her Majesty will be greatly missed, but not soon forgotten. We give thanks for the blessing and gift of her life.

"May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest" (from Sir John Tavener's Song for Athene, based on Shakespeare's Hamlet)