Saturday, June 09, 2012


When she visited Norfolk Island in 1974, our Queen had been on the throne for just 22 years.
I had the delightful privilege of meeting her on that occasion, although we only exchanged a few pleasantries. Bernie, however, would spend more than an hour with the Royals, even travelling in their car with them! I am the one in the apricot dress and the white hat.

 As you can see in this picture, I was pregnant with John at the time. Charles is behind Bernie in my mother's arms, while 2 year old Miriam, standing just behind me, absolutely refused to look at Her Majesty.

It was with happy memories of that occasion that we joined in various local celebrations and commemorations for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.  One of the main events was to take place just across the road from us, at the corner of Queen Elizabeth Avenue, which had received its name at the time of Her Majesty's Coronation.

The schoolchildren had made their way down from the school for the occasion, and took up their place in McCoy's paddock.

 That included Liam. We had to laugh. When I came across the road, the teacher said that some of the children asked if I was the Queen!!

As you can see, Digby was there for the ceremony, having followed us over the road from Devon!
Then just before six that evening, we made our way down to Government House for the lighting of the pine tree.
Now this particular pine tree is a magnificent specimen and is said to be the largest Norfolk Island Pine in the whole world.

 The weather had taken a distinct turn for the worse, and it was quite cold. But fortunately the rain was still light.
 We all sang "God Save the Queen" - which is still our national anthem on Norfolk Island.
Following that, Andre read from the long list of names of Norfolkers who have received honour awards from the Queen over the years.

It was nearly ten o'clock that night, and by then it was very stormy, cold, windy and wet. But Bernie said we might as well make a hat-trick of it and go down to the Queen Elizabeth lookout for the lighting of the beacon.

 There were only a few brave souls there, but I am glad we went.
By the time they got the beacon alight, the flame was almost horizontal!
 And everyone was feeling very cold and damp!
Even the "official" party!
 Doesn't it look magnificent burning over Kingston in the early daylight hours?
And here is a picture taken from the very same spot 38 years ago, when Her Majesty unveiled the plaque naming the Queen Elizabeth lookout.

That is Bernie in the mid foreground beside the Queen. On the other side of Her Majesty is Lord Mountbatten, and just behind her is the Duke of Edinburgh. In front are Princess Anne and Mark Philips, who were on their honeymoon.
What memories!!

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