Vernon officials react to death of Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II leaves the Vernon Recreation Centre on a 1971 visit with Prince Phillip (right). (Don Lewis photo)Queen Elizabeth II leaves the Vernon Recreation Centre on a 1971 visit with Prince Phillip (right). (Don Lewis photo)
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (seated, fourth from left) has dinner at the Vernon Recreation Centre during a visit in 1971. (Greater Vernon Museum & Archives Photograph Collection)Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (seated, fourth from left) has dinner at the Vernon Recreation Centre during a visit in 1971. (Greater Vernon Museum & Archives Photograph Collection)

Tributes from around the world are pouring in upon the death of Queen Elizabeth II at the age of 96, including from officials in Vernon.

The Queen died peacefully Thursday morning (Sept. 8), Buckingham Palace announced on social media.

Vernon Mayor Victor Cumming received the news “with great sadness.”

On behalf of the City of Vernon and city council, I would like to express our deepest condolences. Our thoughts are with the members of the Royal family, the citizens of the United Kingdom and the entire Commonwealth, and all the people around the world who are feeling the heaviness of this news,” Cumming said in a statement.

“For 70 years Her Majesty has served as our Head of State, and for many of us in Canada, she has been the only Sovereign we’ve known,” Cumming added. “Today marks a shift in history and the closing of a significant chapter as we say farewell to Her Majesty and pay our respects for her lifetime of service to the Commonwealth and its people.”

North Okanagan-Shuswap MP Mel Arnold was also saddened to learn of the Queen’s passing.

“Although she was not expected to ascend the throne at the time of her birth, Her Majesty wore the crown with dignity, humility, and deep devotion to her responsibilities as Queen,” said Arnold in a statement. “From her military service before her ascension to the throne at age 25, Her Majesty embodied a lifetime of dedication and sacrifice in public service and leadership in the face of great challenges and shifting global currents.

Arnold highlighted the Queen’s royal assent of Canada’s Constitution Act of 1982, which granted Canada the ability to repatriate its Constitution and entrench the Charter of Rights and Freedoms into Canadian law.

“This historic moment marked the beginning of a new era for Canada as a fully self-governing nation, while maintaining strong ties to history from which Canada has grown,” Arnold said. “I am grateful for Her Majesty’s exemplary public service and my thoughts are with Her Majesty’s family today as they navigate their great loss.”

Vernon-Monashee MLA Harwinder Sandhu also shared condolences to the Royal Family.

“Like many, I was saddened to hear of the Queen’s declining health and eventual passing this morning. British Columbians, including many in Vernon-Monashee, are mourning the passing of the world’s longest reigning monarch,” Sandhu said.

The Greater Vernon Museum and Archives has footage of the Queen’s visit to Vernon in 1959.

READ MORE: The Queen, longest-reigning monarch in British history, dies at 96

READ MORE: PHOTOS: Queen Elizabeth II in Canada over the years


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
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