The 1950 May Day entourage in Memorial Park. Submitted/Echo Johnson

Hope in History special: Remembering Hope’s own May Day

Community member Echo Johnson recalls the beauty and fun of May Day in Memorial Park

In Memorial Park —on a large wooden stage —decorated in flowers, the reigning Queen of May would crown the new queen.

Each queen had her royal entourage: the queen, her escort, two attendants, their escorts, two princesses and two page boys.

Their gowns, capes, crowns and flowers were very ‘royal’ —so beautiful.

Maypoles, six or eight, were in the centre of the park with dancers, usually eight, with boys and girls paired together. With colourful ribbons in their hands they would start to dance when the pianist pounded out the music, playing the piano on the back of a pickup truck. One lady we remember was Mrs. O’Brian, a school teacher for many years here.

These ceremonies were so special to all of us, these memories of May Day are in some of the photos we found: some of the royal entourage.

We named the last royal May Queen in 1956, she was crowned by Kairn Fontaine, 1955’s retiring queen.

This column was written by Echo Johnson, longtime community member and former maypole dancer in Hope’s May Day, which she says was celebrated from the mid-1930s to 1956.

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