An extract from my yet to be published memoirs.
“In March 2000, when we learnt the Queen was going to Bourke, I said to my wife Gail I didn’t think we should intrude on what was the big event for Bourke locals-we were Sydneysiders.
She said “Well you can please yourself. But Bourke is my hometown and I’m going! We went!
When we flew out of Dubbo aboard the Clyde aircraft VH-ULF, we were surprised that the traffic controllers (in Melbourne) reported “no known traffic”. I had my headphones on while sitting in the right-hand seat (pilots always flew from the left). Halfway to Bourke a clearly excited traffic controller called- “Uniform Lima Foxtrot you have company! Regal One is due at Bourke at the same time as you”.
Shortly after, the Queen’s flight called us up, very formally, and suggested as it was overcast, we should go in first and tell them how low the cloud was. This we did and there was no problem-we reported accordingly. We landed first, parked in our usual out of the way spot, jumped out and ran across to the main terminal to see The Queen arrive.
I will never forget the thrilling reaction of Bourke locals that The Queen would visit Bourke.”