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In recognition of the Afternoon teas at the Forbes Homestead on July 12 and Aug 9, this month’s artifact is a teacup and saucer.
This lovely set was made by Roslyn China in England. It commemorates the Royal Visit of King George VI and his wife Queen Elizabeth (Queen Mother) to Canada and the United States in 1939. Historians now consider this visit significant in creating support for the Allies in World War II and was the first time a reigning monarch visited Canada. The Royal couple also toured Newfoundland (which was then a separate country) and spent a few days in the United States, marking the first time a reigning British Monarch visited Canada’s neighbours to the south.
Upon careful observation, you can notice how the design incorporates the United States Capital Building and the Canadian Parliament Buildings into the design. On his recent visit to Canada for the 150th celebrations, Prince Charles mentioned growing up listening to stories about Canada from his Grandmother and recalled how she once remarked that she “lost her heart to Canada and Canadians.” The Queen Mom travelled to Canada 11 times. Charles’ last visit was his 18th.
The Reverend and Mrs. Agnes Forbes built their house in 1912 and were leading pioneers in the creation and development of Grande Prairie. Mrs. Forbes was one of the first medical care givers in the area and was active in many local causes and programs. Of the few possessions she brought with her to Grande Prairie was her good set of china. This was a luxury in those days and to be invited to the Forbes House for afternoon tea was one of the early social highlights within the community.
The Culture and Heritage Department is pleased to bring this original Grande Prairie tradition back with afternoon tea being offered at the Forbes House this summer. The first tea on Wednesday, July 12 is held at 1:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. The theme is the Royal Canadian Legion and new display panels created for their 90th anniversary are on display. The second tea, on Wednesday August 9 celebrates the life of Mrs. Forbes’ as 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of her death. A costumed volunteer will portray Mrs. Forbes and a brief description of her life will be read. The event is free but guests are asked to register by calling the Grande Prairie Museum at 780-830-7090.
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