As the world prepares to say their final goodbyes to Queen Elizabeth II at today’s state funeral in England, fans of the monarch have marvelled at her life, achievements, and for some, the time they got to meet her.
One of those people was Catherine Lamont Campbell Anderson, affectionately known as “Reenie”, who is a resident at Anglicare Southern Queensland’s St Martin’s Residential Aged Care Home in Brisbane.
In her early 50s, Ms Anderson was invited to meet the Queen as a result of her fundraising and advocacy work.
At 50, Ms Anderson began running marathons all over the world and raised thousands of pounds to support local charities.
Her favourite charity was St Luke’s Hospice, an organisation providing support to people approaching the end of their lives, as well as their families. A ward in the Hospise was even named after her.
Outside of running, Ms Anderson was also a very talented swimmer, representing Glasgow in a number of tournaments. She taught children with a disability how to swim in her late-30s and into her 60s.
Ms Anderson’s daughter, Lorraine, said her mum was a much-loved member of her community and an advocate for cultural minorities and was often invited to cultural centres, events and community dinners.
Lorraine said when Ms Anderson was invited to meet the Queen in London, she was beside herself.
The Queen thanked Ms Anderson for all the work she had done for local charities and the impact she had in her communities.
“At the time, Mum told me that the Queen was simply the most amazing and gracious lady,” Lorraine said.
“She was delighted to meet my mother and I think both ladies had a lot of respect for each other.”
Lorraine said when she found out that the Queen had died, she thought of her mum straight away.
“Given that Mum now has dementia, she is completely unaware,” she said.
“But if she knew, she would definitely shed tears.”
“She has helped so many and been rewarded again and again for her compassion. Meeting the Queen was just the icing on the cake, really.”