Gloucester County Administrator, Carol Steele, joined the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester to celebrate the annual Gloucester Day in England on September 3. It was the first time each of them had the opportunity to join the iconic celebration. The visit coincided with the newly created Gloucester Collaboration, where the Gloucester’s of the world are connecting.
“The day was a tremendous success from the bell ringing held at the Cathedral to a special church service to viewing the civic parade with the royal representatives,” Steele said. “Their Royal Highnesses were very kind and supportive to loan their support of the new Collaboration.” The Duke has even agreed to judge an upcoming high school essay contest where students from each of the Gloucester’s will have the opportunity to submit essays about what makes their own localities unique. The Duchess was also very positive about the potential of the Gloucester communities working together.
Gloucester Day was celebrated locally for the first time this year and plans are already underway for next year’s event. Videos and images of the “12 Bells at 12” bellringing and of citizens supporting their community and the occasion can be seen on the County’s website, www.gloucesterva.info. Steele said she hopes local businesses and civic groups will become involved and exchange information with partners in the other Gloucester localities during future Gloucester Days. An example of this could be the possibility of exchanging favorite local recipes that restaurants can feature on Gloucester Day, Steele said.
The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, UK greet those in attendance at the civic parade during Gloucester Day.
The County Administrator’s time abroad on her vacation also included a stop and tour of Gravesend, England where Pocahontas is buried. Her remains are at St. George’s Church, which features a special display honoring the daughter of Chief Powhatan. The church also hosts a reproduction of the statue of Pocahontas, of which the original is housed at Jamestown, Virginia. The reproduction was provided to the church years ago by the Governor of Virginia. Like Gloucester, Virginia, Gravesend also has a Pocahontas mural.
Gravesend is a part of the larger Borough of Gravesham. The Gravesham Council recently joined the Gloucester County Board of Supervisors in support of President Biden declaring March 21 an annual day of honor for Pocahontas and the Virginia Indians. The exact date of death for Pocahontas is unknown, but it is recorded in the St. George’s records that her funeral was held there on March 21, 1617.
While in Gravesend, Steele met with chief administration officers from the Borough to learn more about their government operations and to discuss ways that the two communities could work together on tourism promotions related to Pocahontas.
“I am extremely pleased with the incredible global and local support of the Inaugural Gloucester Day, I cannot wait for the event to grow and to see what amazing opportunities next year’s event has in store.” -Steele
Justina Lewis was one of many local residents who shared the things they love about Gloucester to help celebrate Gloucester Day. Lewis is the winner of the
Inaugural Gloucester Day Prize Pack, courtesy of Gloucester's Tourism Division.