A Right Royal Day - the Queen waves to Moke
On 1st. May 2002 as part of the programme for Her Majesty's visit to Queensland to attend the CHOGM, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were whisked away from Brisbane up north a thousand miles to visit my home town of Cairns. Landing in Cairns for the first time in over 30 years, on a day that reached 32.5°C (90°F) , they had approximately 4 hours to 'Christen' two new arrivals to the Royal Flying Doctor's squadron, take the Great South Pacific Express to Kuranda from where they travelled the 4.5 mile Gondola ride over the Rainforest to see the last attraction; the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural show. The Moke, parked at the side of a sugar cane field, was adorned with flags for the occasion and my girlfriend Grace and I had a magnificent view of the Royals on the Royal Train at the start of their journey.
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Grace, standing on 'Mokio's' wing, looks at the Great South Pacific Express ( Australia's Orient Express ) as it exits Freshwater Station at the start of its 17 mile journey to Kuranda 300 metres above sea level . Inset: From the rear Observation Car, a very warm Queen and Duke wave with enthusiasm .
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