A new bench and tree in the Halifax Public Gardens are commemorating Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee.

Dozens gathered at the event Saturday morning organized by the local branch of the Monarchist League of Canada and the Friends of the Public Gardens.

The Platinum Jubilee celebrated Queen Elizabeth’s 70th anniversary on the throne. Celebrations were held around the world in 2022.

The initiative was inspired by the “Plant a Tree for the Jubilee” initiative in the United Kingdom.

“There is definitely some sad here today,” Carole Thompson with the Monarchist League of Canada said to the crowd.

Thompson said when work started on the event last December the hope was it would be “a good, happy, joyous celebration of an incredible milestone in the reign of a beloved monarch.”

Several people attended the event for the opportunity to show their respect to the late sovereign.

“She’s probably one of the most confident women I’ve ever read about or heard about,” said Lucine Toomey, who described herself as “a bit of a monarchist,” but more a fan of the queen.

“She was a very beautiful lady. To me, she was like quiet steel. She was shining, strong and calm,” Toomey told CBC News.

Toomey had on a fascinator at the event that she said she first wore when Prince Charles visited the Public Gardens in 2014.

“He stopped and shook hands with me,” she said. “I’m sure part of the reason he did was that I had the fascinator on.”

The bench and the planting site of the tree are both near the Queen Elizabeth II Walkway that opened in 2018. A second tree will be planted at the northwest corner of the Halifax Commons.

The bench is on the Grande Alleé, close to both south entrances of the walkway. Two purple fountain weeping beech trees are being planted: one at the Public Gardens and one at the Commons.

“We wanted to place a dedicated garden bench in this beautiful place to bring peace to people and to encourage quiet reflection,” Carole Thompson said at the event.

The Victoria Jubilee Fountain in the Public Gardens was restored in 2012 in honour of Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee.


This content was originally published here.