Queen Joan Crowned Before Throngs On Aggie Grounds, The Gazette, July 4, 1947:
Tuesday, July First, Dominion Day, was a record setting day in the district. The weather, the setting, the program, the crowds – unestimated – joined forces to make the third annual Lions Club Carnival outstanding in community events.
Queen Joan received her crown and robe, signia of carnival office, from retiring queen Marion Peacock, in a simple but fitting ceremony, before a large audience. The ceremony was held on an attractive stage, decorated for the carnival program.
Sixty-five years later and Queen Joan Graham – now Joan Roberts – remembers the day well.
She pointed to where that decorated stage was set up – right in front of where The ACT sits now, in the same community she calls home.
“It was a beautiful day, it was so hot,” recalled Roberts, who at the time was in Grade 11 at Maple Ridge Junior-Senior High School. “Can’t you remember how hot it was with those capes on?” she asked Shirley ‘Dickie’ Lien, who was also at Memorial Peace Park in Maple Ridge last week reminiscing about 65 years ago when she was in the race for the crown with Roberts and the three other contestants.
“It was wonderful, it was so exciting,” Roberts said.
“We were so self-involved we didn’t know what else was happening around us,” said Lien, who was in Grade 10 at that time.
The five Dominion Day princesses represented various areas throughout the district. Roberts represented Haney; Lein, Webster’s Corners; Anna Zarnowski, Whonnock and Albion; May Kinney, Pitt Meadows, and May Maki, Hammond.
Back in those days the crowning of the queen was a fundraiser for the Lions Club. Tickets would be sold with each princess earning 50 points per ticket. The money raised went back into the community via the Lions.
It was a tight race in 1947 with Roberts getting 894 votes, winning by only 162 votes to runner up May Maki, who received 732 votes. In total the five princesses received 2,515 votes.
“May [Maki] was so beautiful and talented, she could sing and dance,” Roberts recalled.
Maki died about five years ago, she said.
Roberts and Lien hadn’t seen each other for more than a dozen years before the walk down memory lane in Memorial Peace Park.