The community of Fort Saskatchewan continues to remember Queen Elizabeth II’s 1978 visit. 

The revered Queen passed away on Wednesday (Sept. 8) at the age of 96 after a 70-year reign. 

Deb Galloway, 64, was at the event. Her father, Peter T. Ream had the honour of presenting Her Majesty with his book The Fort on the Saskatchewan. 

“Both my mom and dad were born in London, England and they moved to [Fort Saskatchewan] in 1950,” said Galloway. “Because [his] book had such significance on the history [of the community] somebody asked if he would present it to [the Queen].” 

“He had never met her before, we grew up all our lives with the Queen in our house and was very revered.” 

Meeting the Queen is no small feat. Galloway says her father was a mess of excitement and nerves in the lead-up and aftermath of the presentation. 

“He was absolutely thrilled, honoured, nervous, and humbled,” said Galloway. “My dad was incredibly nervous and I remember him saying afterwards ‘I hope I sounded reasonable because I don’t remember a word that I said!’” 

Galloway’s father had reason to believe that his gift to the Queen wouldn’t soon be forgotten.

“He was told that absolutely every book that is presented to the Queen she reads from cover to cover,” said Galloway. “That thrilled him.” 

In the present day, Galloway’s love for Queen Elizabeth II hasn’t wavered. Even though the advanced age of the Queen doesn’t make it immensely surprising, the sadness is still there. 

“I’ve been in front of the TV non-stop,” said Galloway. “I was very, very sad when I heard about it… she was 96 but you still don’t really know how you are going to be affected until it actually happens.” 

“She was such a constant in the world and my life. I remember growing up in school we saluted the flag and we sang ‘God Save the Queen’ at the end of every school day. I’ve been feeling quite sad.”