On May 5, 1971, the Queen, Princess Anne and Prince Philip spent time in Castlegar for British Columbia’s Centennial yearand the opening of Selkirk College. Photo: Trail Historical Society

On May 5, 1971, the Queen, Princess Anne and Prince Philip spent time in Castlegar for British Columbia’s Centennial yearand the opening of Selkirk College. Photo: Trail Historical Society

Trail Blazers: When The Queen made a visit

Trail Blazers are historical features in partnership with the Trail Museum and Archives

Many may have experienced an unexpected welling of emotion when the news broke on Thursday that Queen Elizabeth had died.

To honour the Queen, Addison Oberg of the Trail Museum and Archives, has forwarded a special historical feature for our Tuesday edition.

“With the recent passing of Queen Elizabeth II, we would like to feature the 96-year-old monarch in this week’s special edition of Trail Blazers,” Oberg began.

“On May 5, 1971, the Queen, Princess Anne and Prince Philip spent time in Castlegar for British Columbia’s Centennial year and the opening of Selkirk College. They were greeted by an estimated 10,000 person crowd, rain, and cold winds. Despite this, the crowd was jubilant and some were lucky enough to have conversations with the visiting royals.”

About 5,000 people were at the Castlegar airport to celebrate the arrival of the Royal’s plane. Once the aircraft had touched down, apparently the cheers were loud enough to be heard down at the college, over a mile away.

Her Majesty reported upon B.C.’s Centennial, “You must also look ahead and determine to continue the unending work of creating and caring for a satisfying and human existence in these splendid natural surroundings.”

The Queen signed off on the college’s register while cadets, boy scouts, girl scouts, the Trail Pipe Band and other groups paraded for the visiting dignitaries. A 104-person choir was also in attendance and sang Amazing Grace in both English and Russian.

“While their visit to Castlegar was only 45 minutes long, the memories from the attending crowd have likely lasted a lifetime,” said Oberg.

City of TrailKootenaysLocal History