Gov.-Gen. Mary Simon makes her first official visit to B.C.

Gov.-Gen. Mary Simon and husband Whit Fraser are met by Premier John Horgan and Lt.-Gov. Janet Austin at their vehicle procession on the legislature grounds Friday, May 20. (Evert Lindquist/News Staff)Gov.-Gen. Mary Simon and husband Whit Fraser are met by Premier John Horgan and Lt.-Gov. Janet Austin at their vehicle procession on the legislature grounds Friday, May 20. (Evert Lindquist/News Staff)
Gov.-Gen. Mary Simon, husband Whit Fraser, Premier John Horgan and Lt.-Gov. Janet Austin wave to onlookers before retreating inside the legislature on Friday, May 20. (Evert Lindquist/News Staff)Gov.-Gen. Mary Simon, husband Whit Fraser, Premier John Horgan and Lt.-Gov. Janet Austin wave to onlookers before retreating inside the legislature on Friday, May 20. (Evert Lindquist/News Staff)
Gov.-Gen. Mary Simon and husband Whit Fraser exit their vehicle procession at the legislature grounds on Friday, May 20. (Evert Lindquist/News Staff)Gov.-Gen. Mary Simon and husband Whit Fraser exit their vehicle procession at the legislature grounds on Friday, May 20. (Evert Lindquist/News Staff)
One of three artillery pieces stationed along Belleville Street erupts over the Inner Harbour to mark the arrival of Gov.-Gen. Mary Simon and husband Whit Fraser to the legislature on Friday, May 20. (Evert Lindquist/News Staff)One of three artillery pieces stationed along Belleville Street erupts over the Inner Harbour to mark the arrival of Gov.-Gen. Mary Simon and husband Whit Fraser to the legislature on Friday, May 20. (Evert Lindquist/News Staff)
Whit Fraser admires his wife, Gov.-Gen. Mary Simon, as she emerges from their vehicle procession at the legislature grounds on Friday, May 20. (Evert Lindquist/News Staff)Whit Fraser admires his wife, Gov.-Gen. Mary Simon, as she emerges from their vehicle procession at the legislature grounds on Friday, May 20. (Evert Lindquist/News Staff)
Gov.-Gen. Mary Simon, husband Whit Fraser and Premier John Horgan smile for the cameras outside a vehicle procession at the legislature grounds on Friday, May 20. (Evert Lindquist/News Staff)Gov.-Gen. Mary Simon, husband Whit Fraser and Premier John Horgan smile for the cameras outside a vehicle procession at the legislature grounds on Friday, May 20. (Evert Lindquist/News Staff)

A thunderous 21-gun salute shook the windows of the legislature after Gov.-Gen. Mary Simon made her first appearance there Friday and was greeted by the premier and lieutenant-governor.

Simon and her husband, Whit Fraser, emerged from their three-car procession May 20 on the east driveway of the legislative grounds, where they were welcomed by Premier John Horgan and Lt.-Gov. Janet Austin.

The couple proceeded along the driveway, enjoying a brief traditional Indigenous welcome ceremony before exchanging words with Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps, among others who lined up to meet Simon.

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Once Simon, Fraser, Horgan and Austin reached the legislature’s front steps, three guns from the 5th BC Field Regiment Royal Canadian Artillery, took turns erupting in salute toward the Inner Harbour until 21 shots had rang out.

Dozens of onlookers occupying the legislature grounds abandoned their posts to head for the guns stationed along Belleville Street, fascinated by the powerful display. Some remained unsure who all the commotion was intended for, while others commented they would have preferred a seven-gun salute.

Simon and Fraser were led inside the legislature through its ceremonial entrance to sign the provincial visitors’ book and recognize the Orange Shirt display honouring residential school survivors. Later the couple met with Chief Robert Thomas of the Esquimalt Nation, Chief Ronald Sam of the Songhees First Nation and other distinguished representatives of First Nations leadership.

A ceremonial honour guard comprising 50 face-masked Maritime Forces Pacific and CFB Esquimalt members, accompanied by the Royal Canadian Navy Naden Band, stood at ease before the front steps of the legislature for the duration of the welcome ceremony. With the guests waving to onlookers from the steps and heading inside, the military parade marched off to the trumpeting of O Canada while attendees dispersed as quickly as they gathered.


 

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