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Saturday, June 22, 2024
NOTL throws a coronation fete fit for a king
Doreen Hounsham has kept her bible received in honour of Queen Elizabeth's coronatinon in quite good shape for the past 70 years. Julia Sacco

Doreen Hounsham attended the second coronation celebration of her life on Saturday, trading Scotland for Simcoe Park.

After completing the one-kilometre walk organized by Queen Street’s Scottish Loft from the post office to the park, Hounsham happily recalled watching Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation as a child.

She shared a bible given to her in 1953 at school to commemorate the occasion.

“I’ve had this since I was 11 years old,” she said. 

Diane O’Donoghue, vice president of the Legion, was also at Simcoe Park on May 6 to celebrate the coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla, along with other Legion members, Lord Mayor Gary Zalepa, NOTLers and visitors alike.

O’Donoghue took a look at Hounsham’s 70-year-old book: “She still has it in great shape,” she said.

O’Donoghue said she was happy someone took charge to recognize this important day in history – in this case, it was Simon Bentall, Scottish Loft’s owner.

“We’re a very British town, it would be wrong if we didn’t do anything,” she said. 

Bentall took matters into his own hands when he noticed the town had no plans scheduled for the coronation.

“I had only two weeks to put it all together, so I’m happy with how it turned out,” he said.

Other attendees who couldn’t make it to Westminster Abbey for the coronation found Niagara-on-the-Lake came in a close second for royal festivities. 

“I just love British culture,” said Amanda Robillard, a volunteer from VR PRO Racing.

“I actually Googled royal dresses,” said her coworker Amy Pollard, who came in a gown rivalling royalty.

For some, the coronation was a controversial celebration for NOTL, with many critics of the monarchy choosing not to engage.

“One person online said I’m not going to buy (the coronation merchandise) and I know some people don’t like Charles, so that’s okay,” said Bentall.

“Even if you don’t like Charles, you’ve got to give him a fair shot,” he added.

Those who did choose to participate stated their reasoning with pride. 

“It’s a day in history,” said resident Bob Woodley.

“And I had a crush on Prince Charles growing up,” added his wife Sharon.

To follow Saturday’s walk, many attendees chose to listen to the ringing of the bells at St. Mark’s Anglican Church on Sunday, May 10, featuring the musical stylings of Bernadette Secco. 

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