General · 31st May 2011
Claire's statement she made in the legislature yesterday about Quadra Island May Day
"Mounties in their red serge, the colour guard, pipe band and then the floats — a parade that wends through the forest along Rebecca Spit. Saturday marked Quadra Island's 113th May Day. The theme this year was "Gardens of delight." In the past it's been "Islands," "Air," "Oceans." The one guiding rule for the theme according to Sandy Spearing, who runs the community centre, was a request by a young participant years ago: "Can I wear my angel wings?"
This year, we had gnomes and bees and garden parties, underwater gardens and many sets of angel wings. There was also the traditional floats and the child care centre, the kindergarten, the May Queen and her court and the volunteer emergency services in it their dress uniforms.
The parade ends at the field on Rebecca Spit, where the May Queen is crowned. This is a comparatively new tradition. The first May Queen was the then 11-year-old member from Saanich South. This year, Jane Nighswander was crowned and talked about May Day's place in her life in the community. Of course, there are may pole dances, grade 3s working hard on the intricate weaving of ribbons, year after year, taught by Barrie Calverly.
Every year, a person or organization on the island is honoured for their commitment to the community. This year, it was the seniors housing society. Gourmet picnics are donated by Island restaurants and stores and are auctioned, and people eye the sky for the continued sun and just a touch of breeze for the annual sailing race.
The afternoon is a time for games, for volleyball and races, the building of beach houses and, of course, the grease pole. Now, many visitors to Quadra may assume that that tall pole in the field on the spit is our maypole, but every year, Doug and Gretchen Peters make sure it's covered in grease and $50 is attached to the top. While strategies vary to reach it usually goes.
Quadra opens itself to the tourists. In fact this weekend sees the studio tour which marks the start of the season. But May Day is the time for friends and neighbours on the island to celebrate Quadra Island's wonderful sense of community."