Prince Edward

Royal ‘Namgis welcome greets royal guests

Prince Edward and Princess Sophie, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, visit Alert Bay.

ALERT BAY—The ‘Namgis First Nation put on a welcome ceremony fit for royalty Monday afternoon, opening its Big House and putting on a show of singing and dancing for a visit by Prince Edward and Princess Sophie, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, and B.C. Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon.

“We are a welcoming family,” said Debra Hanuse, recently elected ‘Namgis Chief. “It’s part of our tradition, welcoming guests to our community. And we’re always happy to share our culture.”

Edward, the youngest son of Queen Elizabeth, made the stop on a four-day tour with his family of parts of B.C. After arriving by helicopter on the soccer pitch adjacent to the Big House, the entourage was given a private tour of the nearby U’mista Cultural Centre, followed by a brief meeting with several Indian Residential School survivors.

Then, it was on to the Big House, nearly filled with ‘Namgis Band members, other Alert Bay residents and visitors from Port McNeill, Sointula and beyond.

“I think it’s so important for the royal family to go through all of society, and it’s good to see them here,” said Graham Tomkinson, a UK resident who traveled to Alert Bay with his wife, Sue.

In their first visit to Cormorant Island, the Earl and Countess were treated to a taste of Kwakwaka’wakw culture and tradition in the Big House dancing.

Offered the traditional seating for honoured guests, they looked on through performances of the welcome dance, the finale of the Ha’matsa series, the salmon dance and the closing children’s dance, during which they were coaxed from their seats to take a tour around the fire with the other dancers.

In his short prepared remarks to the audience, Edward drew a laugh and applause when he said how much he appreciated visiting Cormorant Island.

“This is the first time that either of us have been allowed to escape from either Vancouver or Victoria,” he said as the drummers joined in the applause. “It seems that in all the years I’ve been coming to British Columbia those are the only two places in existence. It’s been a great pleasure to come here and explore the beautiful lands you have here.”

Before climbing back aboard the helicopter, the royal couple and Guichon were each presented gifts by young masters of ceremony Danielle Barnes and Adrienne Cranmer, and in turn presented gifts of their own to hereditary ‘Namgis Chief Bill Cranmer and to Alert Bay Mayor Michael Berry.

During the weekend, the Countess met another North Island family when she visited Jeneece Place in Victoria.

Jeneece Place opened in 2012 in Victoria, and has provided support to over 550 families with children requiring medical care at Victoria General Hospital.  Numerous local North Island families have been able to stay in the facility, the building of which was supported by local Rotary Clubs.

Abigail McCor-quodale, who has required numerous surgeries in Victoria, and who has stayed at Jeneece Place, was honoured to meet the Countess during her visit.  She and her parents, Doug and Brenda McCorquodale, played a spirited game of foosball with the Countess.

“She was really nice, and very pretty,” said Abigail.  “We beat my mom and dad in foosball, 5-2.”

 

Just Posted

B.C. Legions in need of young members to continue aiding veterans into the future

Lest we forget what thousands of men and women did to fight for Canada’s freedoms – but without new membership, many Legion chapters face dwindling numbers

BC Ferries passengers wait to leave Vancouver Island after Remembrance Day

Traffic aboard BC Ferries slows after Remembrance Day long weekend

Port Hardy Fire Rescue’s third quarterly report of 2018

PHFR had 13 practice nights and 11 other training events this quarter.

Port McNeill mayor and council sworn in to office

Port McNeill’s new mayor and council were officially sworn in to office… Continue reading

VIDEO: Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia

Official decision expected later Tuesday to end competition between North American cities to win bid and its promise of 50,000 jobs

Vancouver Island remembers

Important stories shared as Islanders salute those who made the greatest sacrifice

Search and rescue piggybacks plucky injured senior out of Vancouver Island woods

Rescue crews don’t have same success with dog swept away by Comox Valley river

Canada Post no longer guarantees delivery times amid more rotating strikes

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers closed two major processing centres in Ontario and B.C.

B.C. city councillor resigns as AutismBC director amid SOGI controversy

AutismBC president Gary Robins says Laurie Guerra’s resignation is effective Nov. 12

McGill students vote overwhelmingly to change Redmen team nickname

Student union held a referendum after a campaign by Indigenous students

B.C. university Pride group replaces white supremacy posters

Around 50 people walked through downtown Victoria to share posters of love

B.C. to invest $492 million in affordable homes

72 new projects are part of a 10-year, $1.9-billion strategy

Around the BCHL: Surrey Eagles sliding and Cassidy Bowes flows

Around the BCHL is a look at what’s happening in the league and around the junior A world.

Most Read