Winnipeg's Mayor Brian Bowman is releasing a statement of mourning and reflection after The Queen of England's passing Thursday afternoon.
“Today, Winnipeggers are in mourning," says Bowman in a news release. "With our fellow Manitobans, Canadians, people of the Commonwealth, and those who admired her all around the world, we are grieving the only monarch most of us have ever known, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. It is the end of an era; but, more than that, it is a time when we remember the special dignity, unfailing kindness, and spirit of quiet encouragement which The Queen personified throughout her long and illustrious reign.
Queen Elizabeth II passed away peacefully at Balmoral according to The Royal Family on September 8. She reigned for 70 years, making her the longest reigning British monarch.
"In her famous speech on the occasion of her 21st birthday, she promised that “my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service”, and she kept this promise with perfect fidelity."
In his statement, Bowman touches on the fact that The Queen reigned over the course of time that Canada went through 12 different Prime Ministers.
"Queen Elizabeth (then Princess Elizabeth) first won Winnipeggers’ hearts when she and Prince Philip visited in 1951; newspaper reports of the day remarked on the adoration and cheering crowds which greeted her, wherever she went," says Bowman. "Our relationship with The Queen grew deeper and stronger over the years, as she visited to mark Manitoba’s Centennial, re-dedicate the restored and newly-brilliant Golden Boy, and unveil the cornerstone of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.
Bowman goes on to point out the affect Queen Elizabeth II had on WInnipeg's art.
"Her grant of Royal designation to the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre likewise lifted up our city’s cultural achievements for the world to see: one more precious connection, with a monarch who truly cared."
The Queen's last public statement was was condolences to victims and families in Saskatchewan and the Indigenous community that are currently in mourning after this weekend's tragic events.
"Of special significance in our reflections today is Her Majesty’s lifelong commitment to the Crown’s unique relationship with the Indigenous peoples of this land. During her long reign, she marked this relationship with visits from coast to coast to coast, and spoke eloquently about its importance to her. These are words and memories which resonate with us as our Journey of Reconciliation continues, and we strive to build the future the Treaties envisioned."
Bowman ends his statement with eyes toward the future monarch.
"On behalf of Winnipeg City Council, and countless citizens in our community, I extend our heartfelt sympathies to the new King, and all the members of the Royal Family. Our prayers are with you in this difficult moment because, each in our own way, we have been deeply touched by Her Majesty’s life, work, and example. With her passing, many of us also feel that we are losing a beloved member of our own family, and an important part of our life. Without question, her voice – the same quiet, steady voice that offered us words of encouragement and hope each holiday season – will live in our hearts forever."
The statement from Bowman comes weeks before he steps aside as Winnipeg's mayor. He was elected in 2014 and during the current Mayoral election process Bowman made it clear that he would not run again for council.