St John The Baptist Anglican Cathedral in Bulawayo holds a church service for the late Queen Elizabeth

By Bulawayo Correspondent

The Anglican Cathedral of St John the Baptist in BULAWAYO held a Sunday church service in memory of Britain’s longest-serving monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, with some of the faithful reliving the monarch’s visit to the church in 1991.

Queen Elizabeth died Friday at the age of 96 at Balmoral Castle in Scotland.

Queen Elizabeth and her late husband Prince Philip attended a church service when she visited Zimbabwe for the 28th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in 1991.

Veronica Majoni is one of the privileged worshipers who attended the Queens church service.

“I was one of the few black worshipers to be invited to attend the special church service. I was very excited to be among those worshipers to pray with the Queen,” Majoni said.

Emily Randels (90) is among those who had particular reason to rejoice when the Queen paid a courtesy visit to the church years ago.

“For me it was a second chance to see the Queen after 44 years. I had last seen her, the eldest child of the Duke and Duchess of York (later King George V1 and Queen Elizabeth) in April 1947, when she was still a princess and was just 21. On the first visit, the Queen had accompanied her parents and Princess Margaret, her sister, on a royal visit which covered South Africa, Bechuanaland and Southern Rhodesia,”

“I still cherish the memories of the Queen’s first visit. At that time I was doing my Standard Five at Waddlove in Marondera and I was only 13,” Randels recalls.

His school and many others had been invited to come and greet the Royal Family, who arrived at Salisbury Airport from South Africa on the morning of Easter Monday 1947.

The priest of St Jonh The Baptist’s Anglican Cathedral, Reverend Fritz Madida, said the church saw fit to hold the service in honor of the late Queen, who was head of the church.

“Queen Elizabeth and Juke visited our church in 1991. We even kept the chairs they put up when they come here. Our wish is to see the new King Charles and Lady Camilla also come here,” Reverend Madida said.

Reverend Madida said the church had already opened a book of condolences following the Queen’s passing.

The condolence book, he said, is expected to be delivered to the Queen’s family next month.

St. John’s Cathedral was built in 1910.

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