A few days after Queen Elizabeth II died aged 96, the residents at Pakuranga Park organised a wonderful memorial service in her honour. The Lounge was at full capacity because of the number of residents who wanted to participate in the event, including Don Fleming, a former Wing Commander Technical Officer at the Royal New Zealand Air Force who worked as a Gentleman Usher to the Queen for two years.
Elizabeth II was Britain’s oldest and longest-reigning monarch and she marked the lives of millions of people. Real Living staff and residents were all deeply touched by her passing, and so many of them wanted to share their thoughts and feelings with a wider audience. This is how the idea to create a Remembrance Book was born, with the purpose of doing our own humble but heartfelt homage to the Queen.
Real Living's Remembrance Book has just been released and several copies are being displayed around our villages, for the residents to peruse in their own time. The 50 page booklet includes the beautiful memories that the residents wanted to share after the Queen's passing on the 8th of September 2022. Some of our residents are old enough to have lived through four monarchs: George V, Edward VIII (who abdicated), George VI who was Elizabeth’s father, Elizabeth II and now Charles III. Many of them were lucky enough to see Queen Elizabeth closeup at one of her Garden Parties.
Craig is one of the residents who has been really enjoying reading the Remembrance Book from his apartment at Remuera Gardens. Craig grew up having an inherent affection for the Queen and the British Royal family. He didn't get the chance to personally meet the Queen, but he has very fond memories of the time he saw King Charles lll and Queen Camilla during their most recent visit to Auckland. Craig stood patiently for two hours under the hot sun in amongst the crowds gathered at Wynyard Quarter outside Emirates Team NZ base and was rewarded with a handshake from the now King.
Along with 27 other residents, Craig's memories are being featured in the Queen's Remembrance Book. The document includes gorgeous pictures of the Monarch's life and her family, and it's a wonderful little read that radiates love and gratefulness towards Elizabeth II.