Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Day 2010 - Let the Play Begin

Tomorrow is the big day around here. Once I get over New Year’s Eve, I will head into Annapolis Royal to get myself decked out to be Queen Anne in public for the very first time. My fabulous costumiere, Millie has outdone herself this time. The gown is spectacular, the cape is glorious, the jewelry is glamorous, the wig (we’ll see, because although I’ve tried it on, Millie wouldn’t let me see what it looked like), and the crown (see above with Millie!). She wants the whole effect to be a surprise for everyone - including me.

This whole queen business has been quite a journey! I’ve learned so much about this largely forgotten queen. And the whole costuming part has been amazing. As soon as pictures are available – and there will be pictures – I’ll post the best of them over the weekend.

I will be seeing the Bishop of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island at her levée at St. Luke’s Church Hall around 11:15. I hope to see many of the area’s people at this wonderful beginning to both the renaming of Annapolis Royal anniversary and the 300th anniversary of the first Anglican service in Canada. And then I’m off to the Royal Canadian Legion in Annapolis Royal to greet them at the joint levée for the Town of Annapolis Royal and the Legion. That will be around noon or so.

My Royal Household will be accompanying me tomorrow – Sarah Churchill, the Duchess of Marlborough, my two handsome footmen and my official crier. I am really looking forward to the whole play. Join us if you can. And there will be music!

In the meantime, Happy New Year to all!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

On the Eve of 2010

As the time grows short to the beginning of 2010 and “Queen Anne’s” reign for a year, I find myself sympathizing greatly about this brave and largely forgotten queen. As the second child of William and Mary, she didn’t expect to be queen. But when her older sister Mary died of smallpox in 1694, it was up to her. She married young in 1863 at 18 years of age, went through all those appalling 18 pregnancies, was widowed in 1708, had wars to deal with both on her side of the Atlantic and on our side as well, parliamentary intrigues, miserable ministers, fairweather friends and dreadful health problems.

In Great Britain there have only been four female monarchs who ruled on their own (with no king) – Queen Elizabeth I ruled from 1558 to 1603; Queen Anne from 1702 to 1714; Queen Victoria from 1837 to 1901 and our present Queen Elizabeth II from 1952 to now. We know much more about three of those queens than we do about Queen Anne. The first Elizabeth was a powerhouse, Victoria was very long-lived through more recent times and our present queen has seen such amazing social changes in her lifetime both inside her own family and in the world.

As we progress through 2010, I hope we all have learned a bit more about this largely forgotten historic figure.

My next post will have pictures of the new persona as she attends the Bishop’s Levee at St. Luke’s Anglican Church Hall in Annapolis Royal on January 1, 2010 after the church service. I hope to meet many of you there or at the Royal Canadian Legion in Annapolis Royal that same day.

In the meantime, here is a glorious version of the Birthday Ode to Queen Anne called Eternal Source of Light Divine written by Handel in 1713 and performed by Kathleen Battle and Wynton Marsalis – it’ll curl your hair and give you goose pimples -

See you in 2010 with my dancing shoes on!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Appearances of Queen Anne in 2010

Appearances of Queen Anne in 2010

Friday, January 1
Bishop’s Levée: 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., St Luke’s Anglican Church Hall
Levée: 12:00 p.m. on, Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 21

Saturday, February 6
Queen Anne’s Birthday
Annapolis Royal Golf & Country Club – 1710 Dinner Menu & Music

Sunday, May 16
Combined concert with A Royal Consort and the Annapolis Basin Community Band at St. Luke’s Anglican Church - Annapolis Royal Suite and Birthday Ode to Queen Anne – “Eternal Source of Light Divine”

Thursday & Friday, June 3 & 4
Nova Scotia Built Heritage Conference
- Presentations on historic Nova Scotia architecture, tours of Annapolis Royal properties.
- Barbeque at North Hills Museum when the building officially receives its plaque as a provincially registered heritage property.

Saturday, July 3 – 1 to 4 pm
1710 Military Pageant at Fort Anne

Sunday to Friday, July 4 to 9
Morin Family Reunion
Gathering at the Festival of Roses, Historic Gardens, July 8
King’s Theatre, afternoon of July 9 with genealogist(s)

Monday, August 2
Annapolis Royal Natal Day Parade

Sunday, August 8 – 1 to 4 pm
Queen Anne’s Picnic, Bishop Park on Highway 201
Clowns, dancing lessons, buskers, different foods for sale

Saturday & Sunday, August 21 & 22
Town Criers’ Gathering - Saturday
Sea Cadets’ March Past - Sunday

Saturday & Sunday, August 28 & 29
European Heritage Weekend
Lieutenant Governor in attendance
Queen Anne’s Tea at Queen Anne Inn
Musique 400
Music by Jeanne (Doucet) Currie and Wayne Currie
Scottish dances including the Sword Dance
Scotch tasting
Piper Andrew Kerr
Five Century House Tour

Saturday, September 25
1710 Academic Symposium at the Annapolis Royal Court House

Saturday, September 25
Sound and Light Show on Francis Nicholson at Fort Anne
Biography of Francis Nicholson
Tall Ships

Sunday, October 10
Commemoration of the First Anglican Church Service in Canada at St Luke’s Anglican Church – 3 p.m.
Use of silver communion vessels gifted by Queen Anne
Lieutenant Governor Mayann E. Francis
Primate Fred Hiltz
Bishop Sue Moxley
Duchess of Marlborough
Nick Lash, Karsdale (piper)

Date to be Announced
Community Thanksgiving Dinner – 6 p.m.
Good Cheer Celebration
Thank you to all volunteers

Big party in Annapolis Royal - The Spectator

Big party in Annapolis Royal
Ottawa chips in $60,000 for AR 300th celebrations

By Lawrence Powell, Spectator

When the bell tolls midnight December 31, 2009, Annapolis Royal will switch into party mode as it begins a year-long celebration of the 300th birthday of the renaming of the town from Port Royal in 1710 by Francis Nicholson -- the same man who renamed Providence, Maryland to Annapolis.

On Thursday, Nov. 12 the town celebrated a bit of good news as West Nova MP Greg Kerr stopped by King's Theatre to hand over $59,600 to help Team Annapolis, 300th anniversary festivities organizers, make the party just that much bigger and better.

"Our government is proud to support Team Annapolis," said Kerr on the King's Theatre stage, flanked by Mayor Phil Roberts in period costume and Team Annapolis's Linda Brown -- plus Town Crier Peter Davies who introduced Kerr. "By partnering with communities to support activities that celebrate our shared history and our rich cultural diversity, we are fulfilling our commitment to strengthen our communities and support arts, culture, and heritage.

"The funds were release through the federal government's Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage Program.

Brown said 2010 will be a year of great excitement and described her team as an amazing group of dedicated people and noting that while most events will take place in Annapolis Royal, other events are scheduled for Granville Ferry, Bridgetown, and the nearby Annapolis Royal Golf and Country Club.

Kerr described Annapolis Royal as a town of firsts, including the fact that it was the first capital of Nova Scotia. Roberts said the town has so much history that residents can wake up any morning and it's a day to celebrate the history of something.

It was also noted that the Anglican Church will celebrate a similar anniversary in 2010 with, among other events, the commeration of the first Anglican Church service in Canada.


Those in attendance were also updated on a unique new fundraiser in which Team Annapolis sells the entire town at $10 per 20-metre-square blocks -- and there are 7,677 blocks, making it a potentially lucritive money-maker. Using the geograpic information system at the Annapolis District Planning Commission, the town was divided into the blocks with notional or virtual deeds correspoding with each block. Doug Dockrill bought the first deed -- the farmers' market. The Spectator bought part of King's Theatre. Professionally prepared deeds match each block.

Residents and business owners in the town will be given a chance to purchase the block or blocks that correspond with their own property up to December 31.


Team Annapolis has already nailed down a number of events:

-- A New Years Levee will be held from 10 a.m. to noon on January 1 at St. Luke's Anglican Church Hall with Bishop Sue Moxley, 'Queen Anne,' and Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough.

-- Queen Anne's birthday will be celebrated on February 6 at the Annapolis Royal Golf and Country Club, and includes dinner and music.

-- Heritage Day is February 15 when the Heritage of Sport and Recreation in Annapolis Royal will be celebrated.

-- On April 18 will be the Dedication of St. Luke's Anglican Church Anniversary Garden with the planting of Bishop Pippin apple tree.

-- A combined concert with A Royal Consort and the Annapolis Basin Community Band will be held at St. Luke's Anglican Church on May 16. Music includes Annapolis Royal Suite and Birthday Ode to Queen Anne -- 'Eternal Source of Light Divine.'

-- On June 4 and 5 the Nova Scotia Built Heritage Conference will be held and includes presentations on historic Nova Scotia architecture and tours of Annapolis Royal properties. Also planned is a barbecue at North Hills Museum when the building officially receives its plaque as a provincially registered heritage property.

-- June is also the 300th anniversay of Sinclair Inn.

Other events include the Morin Family Reunion, Mi'kmaq Heritage Day, Queen Anne's Picnic at Bishop's Park on Highway 201, African Heritage Day, Town Criers' Performance in connection with Paint the Town, and a European Heritage Weekend with the Lieutenant Governor in attendance and a garden Party at O'Dell House. In September a delegation from Royan, France will arrive with dinner planned at Garrison House and celebrating 300 years of wine making. A biography of Francis Nicholson will be part of events at Fort Anne in September, and a community thanksgiving dinner is set for October. More events are in the works and will be unveiled as they are finalized.
And the caption under the picture above reads "Anne Crossman, Peter Davies, Greg Kerr, Phil Roberts, and Linda Brown pose behind this antique picture frame that by some time in 2010 will be filled with a portrait of Queen Anne. Rick Zenkner of Westside Studio volunteered to paint the portrait for anniversary celebrations of the renaming of Port Royal to Annapolis Royal." photo by Lawrence Powell

Becoming A Queen

So now that I have given you lots of information on my new alter ego Queen Anne, it’s time I told you about my transformation from an ordinary everyday person to an exalted personage.

Back in the summer of 2009, I was invited to a meeting in Annapolis Royal to possibly help out with ideas and volunteer work on events that would be taking place in 2010 in Annapolis Royal, the Municipality of the County of Annapolis and in the area of the Annapolis River. As we have learned, 2010 marks 300 years since Sir Francis Nicholson and his men came up from Massachusetts, attacked Port Royal which was occupied by the French. The French leader, Daniel d'Auger de Subercase, surrendered the fort to Nicholson and the community was renamed Annapolis Royal after Queen Anne.

First our small group had to find various events that were going to help commemorate this big anniversary. Then the committee had to find funding to help make these events happen. And my persona had to be created along with a schedule of events at which I would make an appearance. Let's go straight to the money - the federal Heritage department gave about $60,000. towards the planned events (the article in The Spectator - our weekly newspaper - of the great announcement will apear in the next post).

And then, because this blog is about me, there's the costume for Queen Anne. Millie Hawes is a miracle worker when it comes to costuming. She lives in Granville Ferry which is just across the Annapolis River from Annapolis Royal and she has a treasure trove of materials and bits and bobs which she gathers up from local folks, second hand stores and everywhere else. Millie is making my costume and has arranged for a crown and is making me look like a regal person. I'm not allowed to tell you very much because Millie would like my very first appearance on January 1 at the Bishop's Levee at St. Luke's Anglican Church in Annapolis Royal to be a grand surprise. I can tell you that the Royal Jewels are pretty spectacular as well. They came from Sapphire and Sage, a woman in Ohio who makes replica costume jewellry.

I will also put up the list of appreances of Queen Anne next year in a future post.