January 22, 1901, the day of Queen Victoria's death, the Daily Colonist's first page was devoted entirely to events and commentary regarding Queen Victoria's passing. This included many responses to her death from nations in her Empire, provinces in Canada, Nations including the Prairie Provinces, and Ontario, and the city of Victoria. The most significant image on this page was a sketch of the Queen, shaded in black, which was a haunting signifier of the loss of Queen Victoria.

On either side of this large sketch were the captions, "Victoria The Good Has Passed Away," and, "To-day The King Will Be Proclaimed." However, more striking, in terms of its content was a poem under the image of the Queen written by Frederick Irving Taylor of Victoria, British Columbia. It stated:

What is the gloom that fills the air?-this shadow o'er the earth? Why seem the ocean waves asleep? Why hushed is Nature's mirth? The bells are tolling,-tolling, and the solemn whispers spread From mouth to mouth, o'er every land -"The Queen-the Queen is dead!"

Oh the sceptre now hath fallen from out Sovereign mother's hand, And the eye of Majesty hath lost the lustre of command. And the heart whose pulse responded to a mighty empire's life Is chilled at last, and silent,-She is dead, the mother-wife.

She is dead, the Queen of Sovereigns; for each subject was a king: The royal blood of liberty flowed from the purple spring, And every vein was richer by the earth's most noble blood:- The mother of an empire,-an imperial brotherhood.

Here was the Koh-i-noor of crowns:her heritage was great: But more she prized the virtues born in high or low estate, Her womanhood was queenly, and, tho' chosen of her race, Less deemed she of ancestral crowns than Virtue's crown of grace.

The Sovereign of a century was numbered with the dead, But Time, the beleveler of all, spared yet that sacred bead, So might the passing era clasp the era newly born: For worthiest She to Bless the night, and hail the rising morn.

Ah yet, the loss tho' grievous, there is solace in our tears! She bequeaths a proud tradition to the unbegotten years: And the mother of the infant in the ages to come, Oft will bless the Queen of Mothers,-royal mother of the home18

Three days after this issue was printed, on Friday, January 25, 1901, The Daily Colonist printed a report from Ottawa that stated "the proposal to make May 24 a permanent holiday meets with favour from all parts of Canada."19 Following this statement was a sentence crediting Senator Macdonald for this idea of proclaiming May 24th a holiday. Though this proposal had then to be passed as a bill by the government, it is obvious today that such a holiday exists. However, celebrations of the life of Queen Victoria on this day are minimal and serve more frequently as the extension for a long-weekend.

The Daily Colonist and the Victoria Daily Times reflected much of the same content in terms of their reports and news releases ranging from all over the world regarding the death of Queen Victoria. By referring to these two papers of the city of Victoria, British Columbia, It is clear that even though the death of Queen Victoria occurred at such a far distance, Victoria's ties to this monarch were exemplified through overwhelming coverage in both newspapers. The Victorians of Victoria, British Columbia, mourned alongside with the people of Britain and grieved with the people of the world.

News Reaches Victoria
Daily Times Coverage
Daily Colonist Coverage
Memorial Services in Victoria
Messages of Condolence
Legacy of the Queen

The Queen is Dead!

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Sketch of Queen Victoria in the Daily Colonist

Queen's Memorial Service in Victoria