A Semi -Regular Photo Blog about Life in Northern New South Wales, Australia.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

When Betty and Phil Visited Lismore

On the 9th of February 1954 Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip arrived in Lismore for an overnight stay, no surprises it was raining!

The Royal couple were put up at the Gollan Hotel. I wonder if Phil had a schooner of Grafton Lager in the corner bar while Betty sipped a dry gin in the Ladies Lounge.

Of course a civic reception was held with the old mayor weighed down in his robes (it was almost certainly a typically stinking hot summers day) and the proud big bossomed mayoress in a dowdy frock, however, the young couple certainly looked happy to be there in front of so many loyal subjects.

Not long after Betty and Phil left town a cyclone struck and the Wilsons River burst it banks and inundated the city, perhaps an example of 'pathetic fallacy'. A distinct memory of locals was Royal Visit bunting still up flapping about in the breeze above the turgid brown flood waters. Lismore had traveled from frenzied joy to bitter despair in just a few short weeks.

Surely this event must enter my North Coast Hall of Fame/Shame.


  1. And there is the white roof of the Gollan Hotel in the top left of the last picture! The Queen would have had water views if she'd stayed longer.

  2. I can't believe the amount of water in that town ... I'm sure the Mayor was pleased it happened the day after the Royal visit. A dramatic week for sure.

  3. I had no idea of this history in Lismore! Fascinating! And adore your passing reference to the "dowdy frock"! But the mayoress is smiling! A great post!

  4. I love the irreverent style of the sign on the pavement. I bet it's a long while since they have been put up in a pub like that.

  5. Love the plaque wording and the memories from your town Mark. We are about to have a Perth foreshore development named Elizabeth Quay. No doubt there will be a play in names when it goes ahead!


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