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An exciting day for former rodeo queen

Posted on September 13, 2022 by Maple Creek
Christa Lawrence, Miss Rodeo Canada 2005, in front of a statue of the Queen on Burmese in Regina.

As Miss Rodeo Canada in 2005, Christa Lawrence spent a year in the limelight.
She had a full schedule of commitments, attending rodeos and parades, adding lustre to occasions.
The experience gave her a tiny insight into the life of Queen Elizabeth II, who reigned for 70 years and 214 days.
“She did a remarkable job,” said Christa last Friday. “She was an outstanding lady.”
One May day 17 years ago, Christa travelled to Regina to see the Queen for the unveiling of a sculpture of Her Majesty on her favourite horse, Burmese.
Her memory of that day remains a little cloudy because of a fall from a horse eight days earlier, which caused a compressed and fractured thoracic 12 vertebrae. In a lot of pain, the 18-year-old wore a back brace, not visible in the photograph of her clothed in a red-and-white rodeo queen outfit.
Her injury made the trip challenging. Thankfully, her uncle and aunt, Bernard and Elaine Isabelle, let her travel in their motor home, easing her discomfort.
She was in attendance with her parents Eric and Ann Lawrence, her sister Joann, as well as her grandmothers Joan Lawrence and Elinor Colquhoun. It was through Joan that she developed an interest in the Royal family, learning about Princess Diana.
After the official welcome, the Queen unveiled the larger-than-life-sized golden jubilee statue of herself riding the Cypress Hills-born mare Burmese.
Christa recalls the wet and the cold, which disrupted plans and meant she didn’t get to speak to the Queen, even though she sat only three feet from her as the statue was unveiled.
“She acknowledged me and I was invited to have lunch with her.”
In an Advance Times article of the trip, it was reported that a security guard handed Christa a bouquet of fresh flowers from an admirer in the crowd.
On the bus ride to Lumsden for the Premier’s luncheon, she met MLAs and the Mayor of Regina and his wife.
About 600 people attended the lunch, says Christa. The Queen sat a long way from her. Reflecting on the day, Christa said: “It was exciting to meet the Queen.”

Another Maple Creek resident invited to help welcome the Queen to Saskatchewan on May 18, 2005, was Anne Weisgerber. As mayor at the time, she saw to it that a set of Maple Creek’s centennial coins depicting the Commercial Hotel, St. Mary’s Anglican Church, the Jasper Centre and the SW Sask. Oldtimers’ Museum were forwarded to Her Majesty along with a letter of welcome. Last Friday, Weisgerber spoke of her excitement at attending the ceremony. She remembered being impressed by the elegance and “personable” nature of the Queen.

Lew Bevan and Mary-Anne Friday have childhood recollections of seeing the Queen. For Lew, it happened in Windsor, Ontario, while Mary-Anne was in Craik, Saskatchewan. The Queen, says Mary-Anne, was travelling by train from Regina in the 1950s. “I was on the platform when the train stopped and the Queen waved to people,” she recalls.

Claire Pollock says a highlight of her mother Muriel Bick’s life was the day that the Queen shook her hand and spoke to her.

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