Mary Helen Darah
The Daughters of the British Empire was thrilled for the opportunity to celebrate Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee. King Charles had encouraged the planting of trees throughout the world to celebrate his mother’s 70th year on the throne. The DBE in Ohio held events to raise funds to plant a Variegated Beech Tree in Walbridge Park overlooking the Maumee River along with a commemorative plaque. “The tree was planted by the Toledo Park Service,” noted Sylvanian and 66-year member of the DBE, Pamela Schaefer.
“Our state president of the DBE, Rosalyn Pearson, and her husband went to the park to install the plaque for a future dedication and discovered the six foot tree had become a two-inch stump. We were totally crushed and canceled the dedication.”
Never one to be a shrinking flower, or in this case a diminished tree, with great determination Schaefer reached out to the Olander Park System’s Executive Director Erika K. Buri who was more than happy to help the DBE. The group of local celebrants were able to plant a new tree and install the plaque Oct. 22 along the shores of Olander Lake within Olander Park.
Schaefer continued the celebration in her home with tea, sandwiches and jam tarts. She felt it was a beautiful day to remember and honor a great Queen.
Upon learning of the new tree planting, Pearson noted, “It was wonderful that we now have a local memorial to honor an outstanding leader and beloved Monarch. I think we are still coming to terms with the Queen’s passing. We wish King Charles the best but our Queen will be sorely missed. We thank you Ma’am for your service and may you rest in peace.”
Daughters of the British Empire is a non-profit, non-political and non-sectarian voluntary American Society for women of Commonwealth birth or ancestry. The society was founded in 1909. For over 100 years, the women of the DBE have enjoyed fellowship and contributing to the wellbeing of their local communities.