Flagging a queen’s visit by Richard Jones

A  look at When The Queen Came To Town (G)…



I WAS a primary-aged schoolboy when the Queen’s entourage trundled through Geelong in March 1954.

Our contingent stood in front of the old, heritage-listed Teachers’ College accommodation building in Pakington Street, not far from the Aberdeen Street corner.

It’s so long ago I can barely remember how long the motorcade took to pass, but I recall the palpable excitement and fervour of we flag-waving boys kitted out in summer school uniforms with the obligatory caps on our scones.

My wife saw the Royal couple in Shepparton. Her entire convent school had been bussed across from Myrtleford to the stone fruit-growing capital to stand in the heat and await the motorcade.

The north-east Victoria leg had formed part of a busy day which took in Bendigo. So my wife and the Shepparton folk, as well as the good burghers of Bendigo, had seen the royal couple a day earlier than the assembled throng in Geelong.

To mark the occasion – among other things – Bendigo’s main oval previously known as the Upper Reserve was re-christened the Queen Elizabeth Oval.qeo

And now all we senior Australians, as well as a much wider audience, can relive that historic two-month Royal Tour all those years ago via this interesting documentary.

Narrated by Bert Newton and drawing on home movies as well as professionally shot technicolour film footage two years before television arrived on our shores, the doco takes us through Queen Elizabeth’s and the Duke of Edinburgh’s 58-day tour.

The only state or territory not visited was the Northern Territory.

In retrospect and now as a rusted-on Republican you’d think after 60 years we’d have rid ourselves of the Union flag in the top corner of the Aussie flag.

Not a bit of it. There she is for the entire world to see.

No wonder commentators on the world stage mix up our national flag and that of the Kiwis. We both have retained the Brits’ emblem in the top left-hand corner.

A disgrace, really, almost a decade-and-a-half into the 21st century!

Thank goodness the Southern Cross emblem is well and truly stitched on.




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