Princess Elizabeth visited Toronto in 1951. I was five as I sat at the corner of Bayview and Moore in my wagon holding a Union Jack as I waited to see her.
That moment is in my mind in a series of images:
The royal black car was enormous. The tires were noisy making the turn as Bayview was a gravel road. My flag broke. Philip looked
relaxed. The Princess was so shy that she was blushing, trying so hard.
Then she was gone, driving north to Sunnybrook Hospital.
I felt I was in the “royal know” as my Uncle Cam (694 Eglinton Ave.) had attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace. I used to open his scrapbook to stare at the royal invitation written in gold ink.
Elizabeth returned as Queen in 1959 to open the St. Lawrence Seaway. My Guide pack from Rolph Road School was her guard of honour when she visited the CNIB. Of course one Guide had an arm in a cast.
Then the Queen drove south on Bayview Ave. and east along Eglinton Ave. to visit The Golden Mile.
I almost had another story for this column. I was asked to organize a reception for Diana, Princess of Wales. My instructions were to invite accomplished Toronto women. What fun! And as a bonus I suddenly heard from everyone I had ever met!
Then the palace announced that Diana was pregnant and the visit was cancelled!
Part of the Queen’s recent Jubilee celebration will live on in Leaside. Over the year accomplished citizens were awarded a Queen’s Jubilee Medal. Leaside had over a dozen medal recipients nominated by their organization, MP John Carmichael or, as in the case of my life partner Ron Smith, by the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.
Thank you to the sponsors and judges of my Halloween Decorating Contest. The prizes have added extra excitement. You can still enter if you get this issue before midnight Oct. 28: www.halloweencontest.org/
Judge Patrick Rocca (patrickrocca.com) donated a pair of Leafs tickets, Rob Tremblett at valu-mart (1500 Bayview) donated the plants and flowers for the glorious porch arrangement by Bruce McArthur of Creative Garden Design (416 877-5587), designer Alison Jones contributed artisan earrings (firstname.lastname@example.org), Fox and Fiddle (190 Laird Dr.) gave a gift certificate and celebrity chef Kyla Eaglesham (www. madeleines.ca) donated two amazing pies. You have enjoyed her food artistry on the CBC’s Steve and Chris Show.
Thank you also to judges Marian Misters at Sleuth of Baker Street (907 Millwood Rd.) and Monange Jones-Augustin, aged five, who represented the child’s perspective. Special thanks to Geoff Kettel for his promotional support.