Since Queen Elizabeth’s birthday is top-of-mind right now, here’s a short story…
I was covering Queen Elizabeth’s arrival at the airport in Rankin Inlet in August of 1994 when I see our son, Anoee, in my camera’s viewfinder along with The Queen! As she walks along the tarmac, she pauses, looks down at our son and says, “Are those flowers for me, little boy?” Anoee is too shy to reply. My wife Helene encourages, “Give your flowers to The Queen, Anoee!” Her Majesty looks at Helene for a brief moment to see who had spoken, she then returns her gaze to the shy little boy with curly blonde hair. Ever-so-slightly, Anoee shyly raises the little bouquet of plastic flowers Helene had put together for him to offer.
Anoee is wearing a parka made for him by Martina Anoee, just for this special occasion. Martina wanted “her husband” (our son’s namesake) to look his best because her husband had often talked about meeting the Queen, and well, THIS was the day his wish might finally come true!
Her Majesty picks up the flowers, says, “Thank you SO much”. She then proceeds to walk with the flowers for quite some time as if they were a VERY expensive arrangement of fresh flowers flown in for the occasion.
Prior to Her Majesty’s visit, Helene feigned indifference about this event. Can you make out her expression? 😉 The whole sequence was also captured and aired on both the CBC and CTV National News that night, much to the delight of our family and friends.
Finally, Anoee had his dream come true through our son, thanks to a very special lady, who took the time to stop and care.