Real Living has marked the passing of Queen Elizabeth II with special memorial services in each of our villages. Pakuranga Park held their ceremony on Thursday with the Lounge at full capacity because of the number of residents who wanted to participate in the event. The villagers shared memories of the Queen, 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.
Many of the ladies attending the memorial service wore exquisite hats, a gesture that the Queen, an epitome of elegance, would have loved.
With her 70 years of service, the Queen has marked the life of our residents in lots of different ways. Some of our villagers were lucky enough to see the monarch closeup in one of her Garden Parties. Other 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.
The Village's choir sang several hymns in honour of the Queen and at the end all the residents stood up for a moving rendition of God Save the King.
At the end of the ceremony Pakuranga Park planted a kowhai tree in honour of the Queen in front of one of the village's main entrances. The kowhai is one of the best known native trees in New Zealand. People around the world have been planting trees to pay tribute to Elizabeth II as part of The Queen's Green Canopy (QGC), an initiative that was launched earlier this year to mark the monarch's Platinum Jubilee.