Taiya Yardley was crowned the 2022 May Queen on Sunday, April 24, at the Royal Party Tea fundraising event held at the historic Fort Langley community hall.
The Grade 7 student at Coghlan school in Aldergrove will serve as queen at the 100th anniversary of the May Day parade and related community events.
“I wanted to do it because I felt it was a good leadership [role],” Taiya told the Aldergrove Star.
Taiya is the second May Queen in her family – her mother, Darcie, was queen, in 1994. As well, her grandmother, Carol Olinek was a pageant nominee.
Darcie Olinek, as she was known then, was a student at Otter elementary, and remembers her time as queen as an exciting experience that opened her eyes to the value of volunteer work.
“I used to get quite a rush from public speaking and performing,” Darcie remarked.
Daughter Taiya reported a similar mix of “excitement and nerves” at becoming queen.
Her maids of honour are Aurora Amtstutz and Kathleen Dix.
Isabella Sitter was named Miss Canada.
The Queen Mother will be Judy Budo.
Because of the pandemic, which shut down the annual event for two years, outgoing queen Anna Meads ended up serving for three years.
“I would have been done by Grade 6,” explained Meads.
Former May Day flower girl Dorothy Foss-Humberstone, who has also been a queen mother, twice, arrived at the tea with her daughter and granddaughters.
Foss-Humberstone grew up in Glen Valley, one of five sisters, who have all been May Day flower girls and princesses.
Her daughter was May Day princess and granddaughters have variously been May Day queen, princess, maid of honour and flower girl at different times, while her grandsons have served as page boys.
“My family has been involved with May Day for probably 80 years,” Foss-Humberston estimated.
“The parade was the biggest event of the year.”
Organizer Rachel McIntosh, of the May Day planning committee, said volunteers came together to make the tea happen.
“Yesterday, we were all making sandwiches at our houses,” McIntosh told the Langley Advance Times.
The fine China tea cups were all donated, and are stored between events in her mother’s house.
Plan for the first post-pandemic event call for a bigger and better parade which kicks off at 11 a.m. along with the event in the Fort Langley Park which runs from noon to 4 p.m. and features speeches from the May Queen and dignitaries, along with May Pole dancing, various food and other vendors, rides for the kids, mini golf and a beer garden.
It all begins with the Lions pancake breakfast at Lions Hall on 88th Avenue and Glover Road.
More photos from the May Queen tea event can be viewed on the Langley Advance Times Facebook page.
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