October 6

The Queen Mother and Canada

“Canada remains a constitutional monarchy not only out of respect for our past but out of a keen desire to remain a united and democratic country for future generations.”

These powerful words come from a sermon by a Canadian priest, Fr Shane Janzen.The sermon was published in The Rock, a Canadian traditionalist Anglican journal. It was sent to me by Fr. Michael, the Orthodox Chaplain at the University of Tasmania.

Much of Fr Janzen’s sermon is as relevant to Australia as it is to Canada. On this occasion, let me share with you his comments on the links between Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and Canada:

“In the novel (and subsequent movie) To Kill A Mocking Bird, a young boy sitting in the balcony of the court room is told by an elderly gentleman to stand up. The boy asks why he should stand, to which the old man answers, “Because your father is passing by.” Over a million people stood in silence and respect as The Queen Mother’s casket was drawn through the streets of London, “Because a great lady was passing by.”

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother was not only a great lady but a great Queen, a powerful symbol of goodness, dedication and commitment in a world jaded by corruption, scandal, and self-serving public officials. On April 9th, Canadians from coast to coast joined millions around the world in mourning the passing of a much beloved ‘Queen Mum’.

For us in Canada it was the passing not only of an era but of the woman who was our Queen, whom we honoured and respected, loved and admired. Standing beside the King, Queen Elizabeth and the Royal Family represented all that we held most dear during the dark days of the Second World War.

In peacetime, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth were models of Christian virtue and family life. Today, the Crown in Canada remains a vibrant and vital symbol of our national identity – due in no small measure to the life and witness of that extraordinary per- son known the world over as ‘The Queen Mother’.

Canada and Canadians held a special place in the affections of Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. Through- out her eleven visits to Canada – as Queen Consort and then as Queen Mother – Her Majesty displayed an appreciation of the unique character of this country; of the tremendous warmth and vitality of its people, together with the loyalty and quiet determination which sets us apart on the North American continent as a constitutional monarchy.”

And we could say the same about the place of Australia and Australians in the affections of that great lady, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother.

Until next time,

David Flint


Tags

Canada, George VI, King George VI, Queen Mother, Second World War


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