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North Island gets the royal treatment

From left, Ashley Flanagan, Allison Flanagan, Jean Hemphill and Priscilla O’Neill enjoy a refreshing cuppa at the the Coal Harbour Activity Centre during one of August’s Jubilee celebrations.  - Photo by A O’Toole
From left, Ashley Flanagan, Allison Flanagan, Jean Hemphill and Priscilla O’Neill enjoy a refreshing cuppa at the the Coal Harbour Activity Centre during one of August’s Jubilee celebrations.
— image credit: Photo by A O’Toole

Black Press

PORT HARDY— A high tea event crowned this August’s Jubilee celebrations.

The month of August was decreed Diamond Jubilee Month on the North Island as the residents took advantage of a series of community events to honour the 50th anniversary of the Queen’s coronation.

In Coal Harbour, residents gathered for an afternoon tea and dance on August 12, with guests creating and sporting fascinators while enjoying a cuppa and, of course, cucumber sandwiches. Once suitably refreshed, guests were treated to foxtrot and quickstep lessons before moving outside for a very British tradition— a cheese-rolling contest.

In the English event, huge crowds are drawn to the Cotswolds to pit themselves against a round of Double Gloucester. The cheese is rolled down a steep hill and competitors then charge after it in an attempt to beat it down the hill. Coal Harbour’s event was a touch more civilized, with competitors vying to send a wooden replica the furthest down a staked-out area.

The next weekend saw budding McEnroes in Port Hardy and Port McNeill learning the finer points of tennis in the “Wimbledon Tennis Clinic”. Sointula Tennis Club instructor Shane Field took participants through their paces with a free drop-in clinic in each town. Perhaps we’ll see a North Islander put his advice to use at Wimbledon in the near future.

The penultimate event on the calendar saw local artists come together in Port Hardy’s Carrot Park to share their work and inspire a new generation of artists.

The Art in the Park show featured stalls showcasing arts and crafts in all mediums, and kids were invited to get involved and try their hands at watercolour painting. The local chapter of the Junior Canadian Rangers pitched in by putting up all the awnings used to cover the tables.

Wrapping up the month-long celebration was a high tea at the Port Hardy Seniors Centre on August 31. Visitors and residents came out for the two sittings of traditional English fare for the event that heralded the end of the month-long celebration.

The series of events was funded in part by a federal grant, provided to the District of Mount Waddington for the purpose of recognizing and celebrating the Jubilee

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