As the world mourns the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the Mayor of Penticton has issued a statement to reflect on the legacy of the longest-serving British monarch and Canada’s head of state.
John Vassilaki was heard from just minutes after Buckingham Palace announced the Queen had died peacefully at Balmoral in Scotland on Thursday morning, Sept. 8. She was 96.
“The death of Queen Elizabeth II marks the end of a remarkable tenure of service to the British people and Commonwealth countries,” Vassilaki wrote.
“The Queen has been a steadfast part of our lives for 70 years, exemplifying the truest spirit of public service and a constant source of grace. Many people have not known a time when Queen Elizabeth didn’t sit on the throne and were able to draw comfort from the stability she provided. She was a steady north star in decades of change and was an icon to millions around the world.”
Vassilaki recalled the Queen’s 1971 visit to Penticton, where she was joined by her husband Prince Phillip and daughter Princess Anne.
Met by “immense crowds,” the mayor says her visit more than 50 years ago left a lasting impression on those who were lucky enough to be there, including Vassilaki, who shared a few words in Greek with Prince Phillip.
The City of Penticton’s flags will be lowered in honour of the Queen.
“It’s a sad day, yes. But it’s a day when we all say thanks to this indomitable woman who kept her promise when she said: ‘I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong,” Vassilaki concluded.