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From CYNTHIA STRACHAN
HAMILTON, the fine old township in the
heort of the Western district, with its many creeper-covered buildings and homes, today "let its hair down" in an unrestrained family welcome to the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh.
Thousands of fami- lies from surrounding districts ris far distant as Kaniva Shire, 150 miles away, set off with picnic breakfasts and lunches in gaily streamered cars, vans -and even cattle
trucks-as early as 2
Evene for those who did not stay for the city's evening celebrations, which included a Mardi Gras, it was a long day as many would not arrive home be- fore midnight.
"POR the Queen, who
was visiting a Vic . torian country centre
for the first time, it must also have been a memor- able, heart-warming oc-
When she landed at Kanawalla Airport from Mt. Gambier, she looked just as fresh and radiant in her teal blue outfit as when she left Melbourne in the morning.
.Her first siffht as she
walked across the tarmac towards the wildly cheer- ing: crowd was a striking airport, reception room covered by solid "walls" of flowers and the colorful flowcr-bedecked dais.
The blooms had been gathered from local gar- dens and arranged by five women from nearby Caven-
These women - Miss Gladys Gardner and Mrs. Alec Baird, assisted by . Mrs. J. Broomell. Mrs. S.
Young and Mrs. J. Grieve -worked on the decora- tions all day yesterday and .. started, again at dawn
this morning. :. ',
The, flowers were pro- tected- from ; the' weather, which . was. slightly cold and gusty, by hessian strips which were smartly removed a few minutes be- fore the arrival of the Royal plane. Afterwards they were collected and sent to the local hospital.
TTHE Queen, attended
by Lady Alice Egerton, and the Duke . were received at the air-
port by Cr; H. R. A. Bull, president of Dundas Shire,
and Mrs. Bull; and 7-. year-old' Rosemary Oates, ' from a farm: near' Caven- dish, -presented a bouquet.
They then motored to the Melville Oval where 13,000 - Behool children from- 200 schools, . and. several thousand citizens assembled.
Two hours before the Royal arrival the scene outside the- oval was reminiscent of a "Pied Piper" scene . . . with a seeemingly unending line of children streaming down the country road into the oval.
Many of the children had been waiting near the oval since 8 a.m., and lett home at the "crack of dawn" for the great oc-
Although the children . were told to bring their
: own food, members of the Mothers' Clubs . and Parents* Associations sup- plemented the food by . cutting 400 loaves of bread : into sandwiches and dis-
tributing 2,000 dozen ice- creams and -cool drinks and fruit..
"This was. just to top up their supplies. About 13,000 mouths take some feeding," ; said Mrs. D. Laurie, member of the Western District College committee.
:(~)N the. dais with the
Queen and Duke at the official welcome before they toured, .the oval, were Cr. R. S.. White, Mayor, and Mrs. White,
and Mr. H. P. Donald, town clerk, and Mrs.
Mrs. White, who wore a cinnamon paper shantung suit with a white hat and accessories, was "stunned" when the Duke asked her how many mayors were present. . '??
"I told him I didn't know. There were 19 municipalities, but I couldn't say more«;' she
Eight-year-old Legacy girl, Jennifer Biggs, who presented the' bouquet to the Queen, looked coy when the Duke asked her if she was cold In .her white dress.
When she replied she was, he said: "You'd bet- ter go and put on a coat." Jennifer backed away slowly, and almost fell off . the dais as she gazed back
at the Royal couple. .
i Tonight .tne Mayor gave a dinner at the town hall in honor of visiting Mayors and shire presidents from 19 municipalities and .their wives, and the Younger Set are holding a ball to mark the Queen's visit r and ; 'the > coinciding "Back to Hamilton".. cele- brations.