Vineyard and Riverstone Schools see the Queen

by Alan Strachan

During her five week Bicentenary Tour of Australia in 1970, Queen Elizabeth would visit Windsor and the Hawkesbury Agricultural College at Richmond, this being the first time a reigning monarch had come to the district. In the early afternoon of Thursday 30 April 1970, the aircraft carrying the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh landed right on time at the Richmond RAAF Base.

They spent a little more than an hour in the Hawkesbury District, during which time they visited the Agricultural College and St Matthew’s Church at Windsor. Around 2.50pm they left the church and travelled along the Windsor Road towards Parramatta, in a special Rolls Royce motor vehicle.

Arrangements had been made for as many Vineyard and Riverstone Primary School children as possible to line the Windsor Road to catch a glimpse of the Queen. At Vineyard, hundreds of children and adults lined up on both sides of the road in the vicinity of the old brick Vineyard school and up past the shop on the southern side. On the northern side they lined up in front of the “Jack and Jill” Picnic Pleasure Grounds.

Barbara Strachan (nee Britton) recalls attending this special event, as her son Peter, had started school at the beginning of the year. Barbara managed to take several photographs of this memorable occasion while she was standing on the southern side of the road outside the school.

As for the Riverstone Primary School children, Rosemary Phillis recalls going on one of several buses with other children from the school. The buses dropped the children near the intersection of Boundary Road and the Windsor Road. Here the children lined both sides of the Windsor Road, along with other children and parents and adults from the local area.

The teachers went to a great deal of trouble to bring the children out for the event, where they spent an hour or more waiting in the hot sun. When the Queen finally arrived at both locations, many were disappointed, as the Royal vehicle went past at such a fast speed that they could only catch a glimpse of the Royal Couple. Despite this, it was an event not forgotten by those who were there.

Queen Elizabeth passes through Vineyard.
Photo courtesy of Len and Barbara Strachan.