The Royal City's Royal Family

Susan Sage (left) and Carrie Nichol have been May Queens. And now, Cassidy Tecklenborg will join in the family tradition, after being chosen in the draw at city hall on March 3. - Grant Granger/NewsLeader
Susan Sage (left) and Carrie Nichol have been May Queens. And now, Cassidy Tecklenborg will join in the family tradition, after being chosen in the draw at city hall on March 3.
— image credit: Grant Granger/NewsLeader

They are the Royal City’s version of the Royal Family.

When Cassidy Tecklenborg became the 2014 May Queen it followed a family tradition.

Both her grandmother Susan Sage and her aunt Carrie Nichol have led the May Day Royal Suite.

Sage was chosen May Queen in 1962 when the draw happened during the day and was broadcast on CKNW.

Children huddled anxiously by the radio in their classrooms to hear Bill Hughes call the school names, drawn one by one for the Royal Suite positions.

Sage’s school, Sir Richard McBride, came last which meant she would be May Queen.

“I was very excited. I had always gone to May Day,” recalls Sage in the Victory Heights home where she grew up and still lives. “It was very big.”

She felt the same excitement 52 years later when she went to city hall March 3 to find out what place in the suite Tecklenborg, who’d been chosen by her schoolmates at F.W. Howay, would get.

Having a third-generation May Queen in the family seemed to be too much to expect. The odds weren’t in her favour. The 2013 May Queen came from Howay and the law of averages would suggest McBride is long overdue. Nichol was the last May Queen from that school in 1989, and she was the first McBride May Queen since her mother.

With each school name pulled from the hat during city council’s evening meeting, the tension mounted for the family.

They looked at each other and said, “Oh my gosh, this could really happen.”

“We all had our fingers crossed,” says Sage.

The tactic must have worked. Howay was the survivor school, which meant Tecklenborg will be May Queen. Classmate Peyton Arndt will be her Royal Knight and carry the school’s banner.

“It’s been my dream for a long time so to have that happen is really exciting,” says Tecklenborg. “Just to carry on the tradition, it’s really important.”

Sage has donated her May Queen outfits and other gear to the New Westminster Museum and Archives. But she has recorded her family’s participation in the Royal Suite in large scrapbooks. That history dates back to 1932 when Sage’s mother, Annie Bennie, was a May Day participant.

Also, Tecklenborg’s mother, Leslie Nichol, was a third flower girl in 1986.

Another aunt of Tecklenborg’s, Stacey Nichol, was the second maid of honour in 1995.

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