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Central Okanagan schools recognize Queen’s death

Canadian flags at school sites flown at half-mast

Flags will be flown at half-mast at Central Okanagan public schools to pay respect to the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.

Moyra Baxter, Central Okanagan Board of Education chair, said protocols are on place for the death of a ruling monarch, and she expects in the days ahead further direction will be provided by the federal and provincial governments.

“We have zoom meeting with the ministry and school board chairs to check in on the opening of schools so I suspect at that meeting we will hear more about what protocols will be taken at the school district level,” Baxter said.

She noted with an election upcoming, the oath of office language when elected trustees are sworn into office will likely be altered, such as reference given to the Queen’s successor, her son Prince Charles.

Baxter said today she considers herself a Canadian, but her family history saw her born in Northern Ireland, raised in England where she also received her training as a nurse.

She emigrated to Canada in 1969, and was followed by her father in 1980.

Baxter said her father had a framed picture of himself with the Queen that always hung on his wall, and now adorns a wall at her Peachland home.

“The hospital where my father was working at the time opened a new hospital wing and the Queen came to officially open it which is when the photo was taken,” she recalled.

Baxter said the outpouring of grief and respect for Queen Elizabeth’s legacy is likely to be profound and on an epic scale.

“I think we could see how the British people responded in celebrations for the Queen’s 70th anniversary…for most people in England, in the United Kingdom, across the Commonwealth, she has been a presence to many for their entire lives,” Baxter said.

For Baxter, she spoke of admiration for the Queen’s work ethic and the connection of Canada’s political system to the monarchy.

“I always felt living in Canada offered us some protection in that we don’t have a president, we have a prime minister, and we have a governor general who is the Queen’s representative. I have appreciated living in that sort of democracy,” she said.

READ MORE: A Queen’s Welcome: Queen Elizabeth II visited Kelowna 51 years ago

READ MORE: The Queen, longest-reigning monarch in British history, dies at 96

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Barry Gerding

About the Author: Barry Gerding

Senior regional reporter for Black Press Media in the Okanagan. I have been a journalist in the B.C. community newspaper field for 37 years...
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