May queens arrive at Hope’s Memorial Park with their entourage, riding in convertibles. Submitted/Echo Johnson photo

LETTER: Remembering the royal May Days of the 1950s


In the 50s, May Days were a very royal event.

A parade, queens and attendees (rode) in convertibles to Memorial Park, up on a platform decorated in cedar, fir and flowers. Queen and (her) escort: maids of honour and escorts, two flower girls and page boys. (Their) capes (were) trimmed in fur, beautiful gowns, escorts in suits, pages in red velvet jackets and bouquets of flowers.

After the retiring queen crowned the new queen, Mrs. O’Brian played the piano in the back of a pick-up truck for dancers to perform with colourful ribbons around the May poles. I believe the last formal May Day (queen) was Kairn Fontaine, crowning Arlene Webster in 1956.

Echo Johnson

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Retiring queen Kairn Fontaine and new queen Arlene Webster, garthered in a group photo during Hope’s May Days. (Submitted/Echo Johnson photo)

Echo believes Lilly Nordgren, left, crowned Mildred Johnson queen (Submitted/Echo Johnson photo)

Pictured is Mildred Johnson, daughter of Lilly and Ernie Johnson, who Echo believes was crowned May Queen in Memorial Park in 1936 (Submitted/Echo Johnson photo)

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