Forest Hill pays homage to Queen Elizabeth II with a week of events

‘Many residents are from a generation where the monarchy was really important, and they were happy for us to honour the Queen’

Forest Hill residents and staff members spent the week of Sept. 19 to Sept. 25 paying their respects to Queen Elizabeth II, who recently passed away after serving as the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom and 14 Commonwealth realms, including Canada, for 70 years.

To honour the Queen, the Kanata, Ont. long-term care home’s life enrichment department organized events each day focused on Her Majesty, her legacy and the royal family.

On Monday, Sept. 19, everyone got up early to watch the Queen’s funeral live from Westminster Abbey on TV. This was an emotional event for many, says life enrichment co-ordinator Craig Forrest.

Residents were also engaged in a variety of TV programs and documentaries about Queen Elizabeth II, Craig says.

A favourite activity amongst residents was watching a YouTube video featuring a virtual tour of Buckingham Palace, the reigning monarch’s official residence in London.

Bingo, which is one of the residents’ favourite activities, had a British theme throughout the week, with prizes consisting of British chocolate bars, shortbread and Walkers potato chips, which come in a variety of flavours ranging from cheese and onion to prawn cocktail to haggis.

Craig bought these items from a local shop selling goods imported from the UK.

“The residents really enjoyed the prizes, and they especially had a good laugh over the potato chips that taste like haggis,” Craig says, referring to the Scottish delicacy of minced sheep’s organ meat, suet, onion, oats and spices.

As part of an activity, residents used cardboard tubes to make dolls in the image of the famed Beefeaters, who are officially known as the Yeomen Warders of Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress the Tower of London.

On Friday, the life enrichment team hosted a high tea with homemade scones, and everything was served using the home’s fine china.

Craig says the week meant a lot to the residents, which was evident by the high number who attended programming throughout the seven days.

“Many residents are from a generation where the monarchy was really important, and they were happy for us to honour the Queen,” he says.

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PHOTO CAPTION: Forest Hill residents are pictured here at a high tea that was hosted Sept. 23 during a week that honoured Queen Elizabeth II.