Sidney beacon was last lit in Commonweath

The first of 4,200 beacons to celebrate the Queen’s diamond jubilee was lit in in the town of Blenheim

The first of 4,200 beacons to celebrate the Queen’s diamond jubilee was lit in in the town of Blenheim on the northernmost tip of New Zealand’s south island. The chain of flares could have reached the beacon at the east end of Beacon Avenue in Sidney. The last time I saw Sidney’s beacon flare up was to mark the start of the millennium and as far as I am aware, it was the last beacon to be lit in the Commonwealth.

However, because it is powered by natural gas, I was told it was too expensive to light for the jubilee. What price is required to mark the second time in history  that a reigning monarch has achieved a diamond jubilee?  Whether one is for the monarchy or not, the Queen is the head of the 54 countries that make up the Commonwealth of Nations, including Canada, and the lighting of the beacon would have been so appropriate and in keeping with our sister nations.

As part of the diamond jubilee celebrations, the Royal Commonwealth Society is putting together a time capsule as a gift which will be given to the Queen. Members of the Commonwealth are invited to write a story about a particular event or personal memory  that took place somewhere in Commonwealth during the past 60 years which they would like to share with the Queen. The story can include photographs, videos, songs and poems to illustrate that special moment.

Stories can be entered through the website at www.jubileetimecapsule.org until Sept. 30.

Wendy Halliday

president, Royal Commonwealth Society of Canada, Vancouver Island branch