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'A huge historical event': B.C. man travelling to UK for Queen’s funeral

A Metro Vancouver man will be going the distance to watch history unfold. Within hours of learning about the Queen's passing, he purchased a round-trip ticket to London.

“Some people might think I'm like a Loyalist, but for me, this is a huge historical event – very rarely do things like this happen,” Gurjeet Singh said.

Singh said he’s interested in history and wants to witness it, adding Queen Elizabeth II is the only monarch he’s ever known.

“Not just my lifetime, my parents’ lifetime and my grandparents’ lifetime – that’s a big deal.”

As an Indo-Canadian, he recognizes the subject of the Royal Family can be fraught. Exerting colonial force across the globe, Britain ruled India for nearly a century.

But Singh said his upcoming trip is not about the monarchy, but about the accomplishments of the Queen.

“She was inspirational; she was stoic. She was a solid rock, a solid foundation during a very, very quickly changing world. You know, when she became Queen when TVs were just brand new and now everything's on our phones,” he said

He plans to visit Westminster Hall where the Queen will lie in state.

Details of the State Funeral were announced over the weekend, Singh said it was lucky that he and his girlfriend booked dates that would allow them to be there while it happened.

“I’m sure in the coming days they'll announce all the details about who can attend and how you can attend and how you can pay your respects. But if we're allowed -- we'll be there,” he said.

For those who are not planning to travel to pay tribute to the late Queen, a book of condolences will be available for people to sign at Century House in New Westminster.

“The Royal Family has a long connection with the New Westminster. In fact, Princess Margaret was here for the ribbon-cutting ceremony when Century House was opened up,” said Peter Julian, NDP MP for Burnaby-New Westminster. 

“Queen Elizabeth II visited New Westminster three times, Burnaby twice over the long course of her reign.”

“So many residents have been asking me how they can send condolences to the Royal Family, that's why we partnered with the city of New Westminster that to have this condolences book.”

The book will be available for mourners to sign this week from Monday to Friday between 10 a.m. and noon before being sent to the UK. Top Stories

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