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Photos by Rachelle Klemme Artists and musicians gather at one of the tables at the "Proper English Tea" fundraiser for The ArtsPlace in Wadena, themed around Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee. The ArtsPlace is the new name for the arts center, located in the downstairs of the Bernauer Building on 114 S. Jefferson St. From left, Mim Maas, Cheryl Prindle (hidden), Janice Snyder, Miss Wadena 2012 Halley Maas, Lisa Winter and Mary Moen.

Locals celebrate Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee with English tea

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Queen Elizabeth II could not make it to Wadena for tea July 15, but organizers and attendees in the downstairs of the Bernauer building appeared to have a good time anyway, especially since the beneficiary of their fundraiser now has a name.

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The ArtsPlace is the new official moniker for the arts center, taking shape under Harvest Thyme Bistro and An Open Book on 114 S. Jefferson St. The "Proper English Tea" was held there last Sunday to raise money.

The event was themed around Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee. Activities to honor the 60-year reign are ongoing in the United Kingdom, although the main Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant took place June 3. A DVD of the pageant was shown at the Wadena gathering.

Two of the organizers, Rowland Joiner and Julia Palmer, are originally from England.

Joiner, "the real English butler" promised on flyers for the event, returned from a trip to the United Kingdom with tea to serve at the mid-afternoon fundraiser, along with cucumber sandwiches, scones and other appetizers.

He said tea time is traditionally at 4 p.m., between lunch and dinner for the upper classes. When he was a kid, on the other hand, tea with bread and butter or an egg was the evening meal itself, since not everyone could afford to eat four times a day.

Palmer said she helped Joiner's wife, Carol Spearman, with the fundraiser.

Palmer does not visit England as frequently as Joiner, but in 2011 she led a group of area travelers to London during the Royal Wedding.

One chair facing an ornate tea cup was left empty, and Spearman said it was for Queen Elizabeth II - who, of course, was not able to travel to Wadena at this time.

Instead, the fundraiser had "the queen of Wadena," Miss Wadena Halley Maas, wearing a tiara.

Spearman said she and Joiner have also organized English tea fundraisers in Motley.

The Proper English Tea in Wadena was the first event held at the ArtsPlace.

Classes at The ArtsPlace involve topics such as painting in acrylic and oil, inspiration from nature, drama, writing memoirs, food, history, photography and pottery. These classes are taking place this summer and fall.

For questions about classes or booking space for events or art, call Joiner at 320-594-7196 or Mim Maas at 218-631-1751.

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