Elora church to celebrate King Charles with coronation lunch

·2 min read

ELORA – Local royalists can don their English hats and nibble on finger sandwiches at a coronation lunch this weekend.

Held at the Church of St. John the Evangelist, the event will start with a patronal service at 11 a.m. before participants are invited outside onto the lawn to graze on plates of sandwiches and "sweets" under gazebo tents. If it rains, the lunch will take place in the church's basement.

While the event has no dress code, Pam Gradwell, one of the event organizers, guarantees the appearance of a fascinator or two.

“Most of us are going to wear whatever clothes we’ve got but (the church staff) always get at me because, for Easter and special occasions, I wear one of my English hats,” said Gradwell. “If I was lucky enough to have been invited to a garden party at Buckingham Palace, which I've not, most people wear a hat with a brim on it, all fancy.”

Born in the United Kingdom and a self-proclaimed royalist, Gradwell says that she’ll be waking up bright and early for the coronation and expects she won’t be the only one in Elora.

“I was just talking to one (parishioner) who’s lived (in Elora) his whole life and he said (he cares about the coronation because) it's the tradition in the UK,” said Gradwell. “(He also said) a lot of Canadians in the Second World War took part in the name of the crown and that he cherishes his British roots.”

The first of two royal events this month, the church will host a tea party at the end of May in honour of Victoria Day, featuring cucumber sandwiches and a Victoria sponge.

“I think a lot of Canadians have relatives and descendants living in the UK or who have come from the UK originally that are celebrating (the coronation),” said Gradwell. “A lot of people are still interested in the royals.”

This is one of many events marking the first coronation of a Canadian Head of State and Monarch in seven decades.

Isabel Buckmaster is the Local Journalism Initiative reporter for GuelphToday. LJI is a federally-funded program.

Isabel Buckmaster, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, GuelphToday.com