|26 Sep 2022|
|From the Archives|
During this time, she visited Australia 16 times, capturing the hearts and minds of the nation. Recounts and stories featuring The Queen and her adventures fill the pages of our school magazine.
The Sydney Opera House was officially opened by The Queen as part of her brief six-day tour of Canberra and Sydney in 1973. Alison, a student in Year 3 at a time wrote:
"Many years ago, Joern Utzon entered a competition, along with many other young architects, to plan the Sydney Opera House. He won it. But that was sixteen years ago. Now, at last, it is finished. It is shaped like white clam shells or sails in the wind. It is made out of cement with tiles on it. On Saturday 20 October 1973, it was opened by The Queen. There was a ferry trip to see The Queen open it. I went on it. At night there were some fireworks on the harbour. There is an Opera Theatre, a Drama Theatre and a Concert Hall. In the Opera Theatre there is a curtain of the sun and in the Drama Theatre there is the curtain of the Moon. It cost a hundred million dollars to build. There are going to be all sorts of concerts and plays, as well as opera, performed in the Opera House. The Concert Hall is the biggest hall."
On the night of the official opening, The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh attended a performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in the Concert Hall. This was followed by a performance of The Magic Flute in the Opera Theatre on 22 October.
The 1982 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane again brought The Queen to Australia. Together with The Duke of Edinburgh, she toured the games village, results room and physiotherapy room. The royal couple had lunch in the village cafeteria, meet athletes and watched the athletics finals. Year 2 student, Kirsten, wrote a short story featuring The Queen and the mascot of the Commonwealth Games, Matilda.
"Matilda is a kangaroo. Matilda hops around the bush. It is time for her to leave her home in the bush because she has to go to the Commonwealth Games to visit The Queen and Prince Philip. She went around the track three times. The third time she stopped and winked at everyone. Everyone clapped and waved their flags. After the ceremony The Queen said her speech. Then Prince Philip said the next Commonwealth Games will be in 1986 in Edinburgh."
On 19 April 1988, The Queen, accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh, arrived in Perth to commence a 22-day tour of Australia. Included in this tour was the opening of the World Expo in Brisbane and the opening of Parliament House in Canberra. Year 5 student, Emma, reported:
"On the ninth of May 1988 Queen Elizabeth opened Parliament House in Canberra. Our new Parliament House was built at a cost of one billion dollars and should last at least two hundred years. After her speech, Queen Elizabeth unveiled a statue of herself. Parliament House took seven years to build and it is considered to be one of the finest buildings in the world. Australian Aborigines protested for their land rights. There were hundreds of school children waiting to greet Queen Elizabeth."
Whilst in Canberra, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh attended a service at St Paul’s Anglican Church, Manuka, unveiled The Queen Elizabeth Stand at Canberra Racecourse and presented Royal Military College, Duntroon with new Colours.
We remember The Queen’s life of faithfulness and service to God, the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. Well done, good and faithful servant.
Image: Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh arriving at Old Parliament House, Canberra to preside over the State Opening of Parliament during her 1977 Royal Tour. This picture once adorned the walls of Arden and is now part of the Arden Archives.