Their Royal Highnesses, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall arrived in historic Cupids on Tuesday, November 3rd. The Royal Couple greeted enthusiastic crowds on the town’s streets flowing in full colour with Cupids 400 commemorative banners and signs lining the roadways. Close by, they could not miss one of the largest Union Jacks in the world, a replica of the Union Jack flown at the 1910 Ter-Centenary celebrations.
Tour of Archaeological Site
Mayor Ron Laracy had the honor of presenting the town to Their Royal Highnesses. Their tour featured a visit to the Cupids Cove Plantation archaeology site guided by Chief Archeologist William Gilbert. The collection of structures featured in the tour mark the heart of John Guy’s colony established in 1610, the first English speaking settlement in what was to become Canada. Through hard work and determination over the past fifteen years, Gilbert has led a team to uncover and catalogue a rich collection of artifacts from Canada’s earliest English settlers. The Royal Couple appeared to relish the brief tour.
Construction of Cupids Legacy Centre
The Royal Couple then proceeded to the construction site of the new Cupids Legacy Centre, a state of the art facility being constructed to house the cultural and archaeological heritage of Cupids slated to open in late spring, 2010 as part of the Cupids 400 celebrations. They viewed the building site as well as displays highlighting both renderings the new facility and homage to the Cupids Ter-Centenary celebrations in 1910.
Enjoyable and Inspirational Event in Cupids United Church
Because of the visit, thousands were attracted in hopes of shaking hands with Royalty. The main event also brought Prime Minister Stephen Harper back to the community, where he again praised the efforts of Cupids to commemorate its past. Premier Danny Williams was also in attendance for the ceremony and added his voice to the chorus of celebration, prior to an inspiring keynote address from HRH Prince Charles, who emphasized the importance of environmental awareness. Entertainment was provided the Hot Earth Ensemble, who played early 17th century music, and Cantare Youth Choir directed by Ms. Deanne (Delahunty) Hiscock with soloist Heather Dawe, and piano accompaniment by Gordon King.
A plaque, commemorating the Royal Visit, which has become the Cornerstone of the Cupids Legacy Center. was unveiled. Mr. Trevor Smallwood, Master, Society of Merchant Ventures from Bristol, the same group with founded the colony in 1612 unveiled one side, while Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall unveiled the other. The unveiling was a testament to the endurance of human endeavour, since both Mr. Smallwood and Prince Charles could represent their forefathers to celebrate an historical legacy 400 years in the making.
Two children from the community presented the Royal Visitors with flowers, which were graciously accepted. The final formal act of the day came when Mr. Lloyd Kane of the Cupids Historic Society presented of a print of Hilary Cass’s painting “Cupers Cove in 1612″ to the Royal Couple. Everyone left the Cupids United Church feeling that they had participated in a celebration worthy of the occasion.
Other photos of the event, including photos of the Hot Earth Ensemble, who played early 17th century music, and Cantare Youth Choir directed by Ms. Deanne (Delahunty) Hiscock with soloist Heather Dawe, and piano accompaniment by Gordon King can be found on Flickr > >