A Right Royal Day - the Queen waves to Moke
On 1st. May 2002 as part of the programme
for Her Majesty's visit 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
4 hours to 'Christen' two new arrivals to the Royal Flying Doctor's squadron,
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
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.
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 .