Missing Royal Flagpole Incident
Date(s) of occurrence: September - October 1940
Origins: In June 1939 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth embarked on a tour of the Maritimes and included a stop in Fredericton. The Lady Beaverbrook Residence was chosen to hold a luncheon for the royal couple. While making preparations for the visit, Lieutenant Governor Murray MacLaren noted there was no flag-pole at the residence from which to fly the Royal Standard flag, and had on erected in front of the building. After the Royal tour ended, the Union Jack continued to be flown for the entirety of the 1939-40 academic year as a lasting monument to the Royal visit to the building.
Account of events: Shortly before the opening of the 1940-41 academic term, the new Lieutenant Governor, William Clark, appropriated the flagpole for himself. Students were outraged at the loss and, on either the night of September 28 or early morning of September 29, a group removed the flagpole from the Lieutenant Governor's house and placed it back in its original position outside the Lady Beaverbrook Residence using concrete from the construction site of the Lady Beaverbrook Gymnasium. By the next afternoon the Union Jack was once again flying in front of the residence. That same day, the Lieutenant Governor sent his aide to UNB president Dr. Norman MacKenzie, demanding the flagpole be returned to him.
On October 1 the flagpole was removed again, but during the process the pole fell and cracked into two pieces. It was resurrected later that fall, when the pieces of the flagpole were carved up into six inch tall monuments and sold to raise money for the Spitfire Fund.
Note(s): In the early 1950s another flagpole was erected outside the Lady Beaverbrook Residence, where it remained until the summer of 1967, when it was removed and, just in time for the Royal visit from Queen Mother Elizabeth, placed in front of the Burden Schoolhouse.
- The Brunswickan. "Memorial to Royal Visit Missing." Vol. 60, no. 1, 27 September 1940, p. 1.
- Lloyd, Hugh and Wade, Scott. "Flags and Poles." In Behind the Hill. Fredericton: Students' Representative Council, the Associated Alumni and the Senate of the University of New Brunswick, 1967, p. 171-173.
- The Brunswickan. "College Mourns Loss of Flagpole." Vol. 60, no. 2, 4 October 1940, p. 1, 5.
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