Fernie commemorates the passing of Queen Elizabeth II

Father David John and Reverend Canon Andrea Brennan together in front of gathered community members in Fernie at an event to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II on Sept. 19, 2022. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)Father David John and Reverend Canon Andrea Brennan together in front of gathered community members in Fernie at an event to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II on Sept. 19, 2022. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)
Father David John spoke at an event commemorating Queen Elizabeth II in Fernie on Sept. 19, 2022. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)Father David John spoke at an event commemorating Queen Elizabeth II in Fernie on Sept. 19, 2022. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)
Community members gathered in Fernie in front of the Holy Family Church to commemorate the passing of Queen Elizabeth II on Sept. 19, 2022. From left: Celeste Morley, Eliana Kirschbaum, and Min Merritt. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)Community members gathered in Fernie in front of the Holy Family Church to commemorate the passing of Queen Elizabeth II on Sept. 19, 2022. From left: Celeste Morley, Eliana Kirschbaum, and Min Merritt. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)
Community members gathered in Fernie in front of the Holy Family Church to commemorate the passing of Queen Elizabeth II on Sept. 19, 2022. From left: Bruce Elson, Mary Elson, Orlan Weber, and Celia Corrigan. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)Community members gathered in Fernie in front of the Holy Family Church to commemorate the passing of Queen Elizabeth II on Sept. 19, 2022. From left: Bruce Elson, Mary Elson, Orlan Weber, and Celia Corrigan. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)
Patrick Burke and Jo Anne Burke attended an event to commemorate the loss of Queen Elizabeth II in Fernie on Sept. 19, 2022. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)Patrick Burke and Jo Anne Burke attended an event to commemorate the loss of Queen Elizabeth II in Fernie on Sept. 19, 2022. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)
Alexandra Elizabeth Simons attended an event to commemorate the loss of Queen Elizabeth II in Fernie on Sept. 19, 2022. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)Alexandra Elizabeth Simons attended an event to commemorate the loss of Queen Elizabeth II in Fernie on Sept. 19, 2022. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)
Rev. Canon Andrea Brennan said a prayer at an event commemorating the loss of Queen Elizabeth II in Fernie on Sept. 19, 2022. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)Rev. Canon Andrea Brennan said a prayer at an event commemorating the loss of Queen Elizabeth II in Fernie on Sept. 19, 2022. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)
Rev. Canon Andrea Brennan and Mayor Ange Qualizza at an event commemorating the loss of Queen Elizabeth II in Fernie on Sept. 19, 2022. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)Rev. Canon Andrea Brennan and Mayor Ange Qualizza at an event commemorating the loss of Queen Elizabeth II in Fernie on Sept. 19, 2022. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)
Rev. Canon Andrea Brennan and Fr. David John led an event to commemorate the passing of Queen Elizabeth II in Fernie on Sept. 19, 2022. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)Rev. Canon Andrea Brennan and Fr. David John led an event to commemorate the passing of Queen Elizabeth II in Fernie on Sept. 19, 2022. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)
Rev. Canon Andrea Brennan and Fr. David John hug at an event commemorating the passing of Queen Elizabeth II in Fernie on Sept. 19, 2022. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)Rev. Canon Andrea Brennan and Fr. David John hug at an event commemorating the passing of Queen Elizabeth II in Fernie on Sept. 19, 2022. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)
Community members gathered in Fernie in front of the Holy Family Church to commemorate the passing of Queen Elizabeth II on Sept. 19, 2022. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)Community members gathered in Fernie in front of the Holy Family Church to commemorate the passing of Queen Elizabeth II on Sept. 19, 2022. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)
Rev. Canon Andrea Brennan and Fr. David John led an event to commemorate the passing of Queen Elizabeth II in Fernie on Sept. 19, 2022. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)Rev. Canon Andrea Brennan and Fr. David John led an event to commemorate the passing of Queen Elizabeth II in Fernie on Sept. 19, 2022. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)

The church bell tolled 96 times in Fernie on Monday (Sept. 19) in commemoration of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Queen Elizabeth was the longest serving monarch in the history of the United Kingdom, serving 70 years on the throne before her passing on Sept. 8, 2022.

Community members gathered at the Holy Family Church for mass at 10 a.m. on Monday, where prayers were said for the repose of the soul of the Queen, and to ask for God’s blessing on King Charles as he ascends the throne.

Following mass, Reverend Canon Andrea Brennan and Father David John were outside the church receiving visitors for the event.

Gathered on the lawn in front of the Holy Family Church, Fr. John said a few words.

“The importance of coming together at times like this is so important, because it is that sharing, it is that coming together that is part of the healing process that we go through,” he said.

After his words, the church bell tolled 96 times, in commemoration of the 96 years of the Queen’s life.

The bell was followed by a prayer from Rev. Brennan, a land acknowledgement from Mayor Ange Qualizza, and the singing of ‘God Save Our King’ from the community members present.

Patrick Burke, who was attending the event, said the Queen’s passing marked the end of an era.

“I remember the Queen being present in everything we do, basically all of our lives. On every coin, on every dollar, everything,” he said, adding that it’s a sad day.

“I think that people around the world are celebrating the Queen’s life, and that’s basically what we have to do.”

Alexandra Elizabeth Simons, originally from the United Kingdom, said she was feeling a bit homesick, and wanted to join with her family and countryfolk back home who were mourning the loss of the Queen.

Simons is a royalist, and said they see the monarchy as an extension of their own family, whether they’ve met them or not.

“For royalists, it is as though a grandmother has just passed away, so that’s the sense of loss that royalists are experiencing.”

She said Queen Elizabeth was the only monarch most people have ever known, and that 70 years on the throne is quite a feat.

Many people, she said, have never seen a change from one monarch to the other, adding that it’s a very important part of history.

“(The Queen) was a very respectable and very admirable woman. Very strong,” Simons said.

“The amount of outpouring, appreciation for what she had done, whether it be bringing people together, whether it be doing official roles here and there, or just being there.

“I think the appreciation from the public, not just in the UK but globally has been absolutely touching.”

READ MORE: Britain and the world lay Queen Elizabeth II to rest

READ MORE: LIVE: Victoria procession, ceremony, as B.C. pays tribute to Queen Elizabeth II

READ MORE: By the numbers: Facts and figures about the queen’s funeral


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josh.fischlin@thefreepress.ca

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