‘An example to us all’: People in and around Waterloo Region remember Queen Elizabeth


A woman from Waterloo, Ont., who has twice presented flowers to Queen Elizabeth during visits to Canada, says she is « quite shocked and very sad » to learn that the monarch has passed away.

The Queen, who reigned for 70 years, died on Thursday. She was 96 years old.

The first time Vera von Bogen-Cormier met the Queen was in 2002 when the Queen visited the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto during her Golden Jubilee tour. The second time was in Toronto and Waterloo in 2010.

Von Bogen-Cormier was at tech company Research In Motion, now BlackBerry, when the Queen stopped by.

« She had a long life and we have to be grateful for that. Not everyone is entitled to a long life like that, but it’s always sad. Sometimes when people live so long, you get almost expect them to still be there, » von Bogen- said Cormier.

Von Bogen-Cormier says her interest in the monarch was sparked when she visited England when she was 10 and saw Buckingham Palace and realized Queen Elizabeth was also the head of the State of Canada.

« That’s when my passion took off and I have a great interest in history – history and tradition is something I really appreciate, » she said.

She adds that she is not surprised by the influx of support from people around the world following the Queen’s death.

« I always thought it would be such a significant event, his reign spanning 70 years, » von Bogen-Cormier said.

Queen Elizabeth wears an electrostatic gown during her Research in Motion tour in Waterloo, Ontario, in 2010. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press)

« Even those who aren’t big supporters of the monarchy really can’t blame her. She has been such an example to all of us of service and dedication that I think even those who aren’t big supporters respect her. always and what she has done for her people. »

« Sad she’s gone »

Jamie Hill in Sainte-Agathe says he lowered his flag on Thursday and received phone calls from his family after news of the Queen’s death was announced.

Over the years, Hill has seen the Queen many times, including in 1959 when she came to Kitchener and stood on the side of the road with her Boy Scout troop, until 2010 when of a garden party at Rideau Hall in Ottawa.

« I’m pretty sad. It’s not a shock, it’s not anything like that, but it’s sad that she’s gone, » Hill said Thursday afternoon.

« I really cherished the opportunity to see her in person. I think one of the most exciting was at the garden party at Buckingham Palace in 1984. »

He said he admired the way the Queen dedicated her life to her people « and did so with such grace and courage ».

Politicians mark Queen’s death

Flags have been flown at half-mast on buildings in and around Waterloo Region, and local politicians are sharing their thoughts on the Queen’s death.

In a statement, Regional Chair Karen Redman said the Queen « has guided Canada, not only through her duties and ceremonies, but also through her compassion and unwavering commitment to public service. She loved our country ».

Redman called the monarch « a role model for generations of leaders, both global and local », and said she « balanced strong, decisive leadership with genuine humility and personal warmth ».

Redman also called the Queen an inspiration to « countless women » who have held leadership positions.

Wilmot Mayor Les Armstrong, a veteran, says that during his time in the navy, the ship he was on escorted the royal yacht on a visit in 1969.

The world has ‘lost a great woman who set an example of how to lead her people and how people should respect others,’ he told CBC News at a press conference. on the merger of Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro and Waterloo North Hydro on Thursday afternoon. .

« She will be sorely missed and the world will find it hard to fill their shoes. »

meet the queen

In 2016, when the Queen turned 90, some Waterloo Region residents shared memories of the times they met the monarch.

Kitchener resident Bradley Barbour said at the time that it was « a remarkable experience to shake hands with her and see her » when she was in Toronto in 2010.

« She kind of stopped every now and then and she stopped towards me and we shook hands and I lowered my head and said, ‘Your Majesty’ and she continued », did he declare.



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