Canada Greets Her King

In British Columbia

CHARLES L. SHAW May 15 1939
Canada Greets Her King

In British Columbia

CHARLES L. SHAW May 15 1939

In British Columbia


IN THE Rockies and westward. Their Majesties will pass through scenery which in diversity and grandeur is probably unmatched in the Empire, and their day in Banff, Alberta, close to the British Columbia boundary, will prepare them for some of the finest. At this season travel

through the mountain country of Western Canada is at its best, with the snowcrowned peaks visible as they tower into the cloudless blue, the green valleys a multicolored tangle of wild flowers.

Only in two or three cities of British Columbia have public functions been

arranged for the King and Queen, but the tour has been planned in such a way as to give them an opportunity of seeing and being seen by as many of their subjects as possible. Between Banff and Vancouver only one stop of more than a few minutes has been scheduled at Kamloops. Here, at the meeting place of the rivers and the “hub of the interior,” the King and Queen will be in the midst of scenery bearing striking contrast to that of anything they have hitherto seen in the Dominion— rolling sagebrush hills seemingly more typical of the Southwest States and Mexico. For this is the picturesque “dry bedt.” ancient headquarters of the Hudson’s Bay Company, later the centre of the cattle trade and the entrance to the famous Okanagan apple country.

At Kamloops and other towns and cities along the route of the Royal journey, there will be a greater temporary concentration of humanity than has ever occurred before in British Columbia. Trappers and prospectors, cattlemen and farmers, Indians and scattered Oriental settlers of the great hinterland will travel many miles by road, river and trail to see the cavalcade as it speeds toward the coast; but at places like Vancouver, Victoria and New Westminster the normal population will be swelled by more than a hundred thousand people converging from all sections of the province and from the Pacific Coast States, eager for a glimpse of Their Majesties.

From remote settlements along the west coast, halibut and salmon fishermen will set their course for the province’s metropolis in chugging gas boats; from the timber camps of the Douglas fir country will come big-boned loggers stiff in their store clothes; from up and down the rich Fraser River valley thousands of truck farmers, orchardists and stock raisers representing a strange assortment of races will assemble, and the gold, coal and basemetal camps will send their quota of miners and .their womenfolk, anxious to take part in British Columbia’s celebration for the visiting monarch.

A City Transformed

TN VANCOUVER Their Majesties will k see one of the Empire’s youngest big cities, whose site was being cleared by lumberjacks and bull teams barely half a century ago, but which has grown so rapidly that the motor drive planned for the King and Queen through the city will cover fifty-five miles the longest procession of its kind in the Canadian tour. Their Majesties will see a city transformed for their visit, gay and colorful, with fluttering flags and floral arches in which the royal purple and gold will dominate the decorative scheme.

The Royal party will be greeted at the Canadian Pacific depot by provincial and civic leaders, by a Guard of Honor composed of Seaforth Highlanders and other military and naval units, and an armored car escort from the B. C. Hussars and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. An interesting feature of the drive will be passage over the Lions’ Gate Bridge, greatest suspension span in the Empire, recently completed by British capitalists who have laid out a great new residential area on the north shore of Burrard Inlet.

The King will formally dedicate the new bridge and w ill also be the first guest at the new $7,(XX).(XX) Vancouver hotel, to be jointly operated by the Canadian National Railways and the Canadian Pacific. The King and Queen will occupy the Royal suite in this hotel for their brief stay during the luncheon period. They will also visit Vancouver’s new City Hall and other points of interest, although the shortage of time will prevent them from seeing many of the area’s scenic attractions. The course of the procession was determined with a view to preventing traffic congestion by routing it to the people, rather than compelling residents to go far from their own neighborhoods for a glimpse of the parade.

A Day in Victoria

TEAVTNG Vancouver on the evening of May 29, after a busy day, the Regal party will go to Victoria through the island-dotted Gulf of Georgia, arriving in the capital city early that evening. In Victoria, whose restful atmosphere and natural beauty have made it a charmed city for visitors from all corners of the world. Their Majesties will be in an environment more reminiscent of their homeland than anywhere else in Canada.

It is said of Victoria that it is more English than present-day England. There is, of course, no truth in this, for Victoria has a style and a way of living all its own, but leisurely Victoria has never quite rid itself of the atmosphere of Colonial days, when it maintained a stately dignity as foremost centre of culture in a Pacific Northwest empire of rugged wilderness. When lusty aggressive Vancouver was a mere clearing in the virgin timber, Victoria, having already outgrown its frontier era while the Cariboo gold stampede roared, was conscious of its maturity and its importance as the seat of government, with near-by Esquimalt the Pacific base of the British Navy.

In Victoria, Their Majesties will make their home at Government House with Lieutenant-Governor and Mrs. Eric Hamber, in a mansion surrounded by the boulevards, hedges and green lawns that are most characteristic of Victoria, and looking out on a panorama of breathtaking magnificence that carries the beholder almost to the open Pacific.

In Victoria and Vancouver and New Westminster, King George VI will meet many an old campaigner of the Empire’s wars and many members of Old Country families, for British Columbia in many respects is more essentially British than any other part of Canada, with a greater percentage of the population either born in the British Isles or separated therefrom by a single generation.

Returning to the mainland after a day in Victoria, the King and Queen will drive from Vancouver to New Westminster, the old mainland capital at the mouth of the mighty Fraser River. The route of the twelve-mile journey is by Kingsway. At New Westminster special arrangements are being made to accommodate thousands of American visitors who will drive north over the Pacific Highway, their numbers swelled by the fact that their own Decoration Day holiday coincides with the date of the Royal visit.