St George's Park History
Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Social Functions St George's Park - Thousands in PE Pay Their Tribute
Thousands in PE Pay Their Tribute

More than 8,000 people gathered at the Crusader Ground, Port Elizabeth, today to attend a service to mark the coronation of the Queen.

Immediately after the service, which began with Die Stem, and ended with The Queen, a military review of about 1,000 troops, comprising army, air force and naval units of the Permanent Force and Active Citizen Force, was held.

The Mayor, Mr CF McArthur, with Col. HS Cilliers, Officer Commanding Eastern Province Command, inspected the parade, and took the salute at the march past.

Click image to enlarge
About 1,000 men from the Permanent Force, ACF, and schools' cadet bands took part in the march past at the united service at the Crusader Grounds today. The picture shows portion of the march past.
During the parade eight Harvard aircraft of No. 6 Auxillary Fighter Squadron, SAAF, flew low over the ground in formation and dipped their wings in salute.

The parade, which was under the command of Commandant R Graham, MC, ED, OC, 5th Field Regiment, was formed up in four battalions during the service.

Units which took part in the review included the Prince Alfred's Guard, which paraded with it's Queen's Colour, and Regimental Colour, the 5th Field Regiment, 2 Armoured Brigade Signal Squadron, 2 Field Park Squadron, SAEC, 5 SAAF Radio Unit, 5 SAAF Engineering Unit, 6 Coast Regiment, 53 Ack Ack Battery, 63 Radar Company, detachments from SAS Transvaal and Protea, and the SA Naval Reserve, Port Elizabeth.

The bands of the Grey High School cadets, Kingswood College, Pearson High School, and the Prince Alfred's Guard took part in the parade.

The gathering sang the hymns All People that on Earth do Dwell. O God of Bethel, and O God Our Help in Ages Past.

Prayers were said by the Rev. AEF Garrett and the Rev. JC Classen, and the Rev. A Levy and the Rev. TS Sharp gave readings from the Old and New Testaments. The Rev. JP Gutch gave the benediction.

Addresses were given by the Mayor's Chaplain, Archdeacon TB Powell, and the Rev. DT du P Moolman.

In his address the Archdeacon reminded the gathering of the visit of the Queen, then Princess Elizabeth, to the Crusader Ground in 1947. He said:

"We were proud on that occasion, as indeed we are now, to know that our own city bears the name of the reigning sovereign.

The Princess, he said, as she was then, "touched the very roots of our spiritual natures when, on her 21st birthday, she said at Cape Town: "I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong . . .'

"She has dedicated herself to God and to her peoples. Let us do the same in our humble sphere. For only by our trust in God and by our regular worship of the most high, will we be able to build up that South Africa which we all desire and which will be pleasing in the sight of God."

The Rev. Moolman said that although many monarchies had disappeared, today a large part of the world was participating in the great happenings at Westminster Abbey. Even outside the circle of British loyalty the coronation ceremony was creating great interest.

In these critical times for Western civilisation, while the dark clouds of an uncertain future hang low over the world, a young woman and mother was being crowned in Britain. And with her crowning, a tremendous responsibility, which would be too great for many men, would rest on her.

The Queen had a claim on the people's sympathy, prayers, and God's support.

A 21-gun salute to mark the coronation was fired by the South African frigate, Transvaal, in Port Elizabeth harbour at 1 pm today.

Two signal guns, firing at five second intervals, were used. Other 21-gun salutes were fired by South African warships at Cape Town, Durban and East London today.

Evening Post
June 2, 1953.

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