More than 60 members and friends of the NB Branch of the Monarchist League of Canada were on hand on February 2nd at Government House in Fredericton for a special presentation to Hon. Graydon Nicholas. The Lieutenant Governor, who is Honourary Patron of the Branch, was the host of the Accession Day Tea, which honoured the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, and he reflected on the success of Jubilee celebrations held across the province.
The League itself was involved in numerous Diamond Jubilee commemorations, including flag raisings, a tree planting, a formal dinner, a childrens’ activity day, and a heritage fair award program. The Tea was the last event on the group’s calendar celebrating the Queen’s 60 years on the Throne. Plans are advancing, however, for events to mark the 60th anniversary of her coronation in June.
As a final gesture to mark the Diamond Jubilee, the Branch presented an historic print to Government House during the February 2nd celebrations. Called “The Heart of Empire,” the original painting was commissioned in 1935 to capture on canvas the Service of Thanksgiving held in honour of another Royal milestone – the Silver Jubilee of King George V and Queen Mary. The many people pictured in the foreground include members of the Royal Family as well as representatives from across the Commonwealth who were present for the occasion.
The print was gifted to the Branch in 2012 by the family of the Late Donald Whitcomb of Missouri, USA, and plans were immediately made to have it re-framed and for a suitable home to be found so that it could be enjoyed by a great number of people.
Barry MacKenzie, Chairman of the NB Branch of the League, was on hand for the presentation: “We could not be more pleased to know that this historic print will become a permanent part of the Government House collection and that it will be showcased in New Brunswick’s vice-regal residence for all to enjoy.”
A second special presentation to Government House was made during the February 2nd event by Christian Cardell Corbet of Riverview, who presented to the Lieutenant Governor a handsome bust of Her Majesty The Queen commissioned by the Canadian Portrait Academy in honour of the Diamond Jubilee.