New Farm Park, Brisbane

Monday, March 21, 2011

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH VIP'S

Around 1957/58 I was given my first camera and photo album. It was the trusty Brownie Box Camera, which you see in museums now, but it was a great little camera in its day.

I was in 4th Year high school when the Queen Mother visited Australia. Schools were invited to meet the Queen Mother at the Sydney Cricket Ground. We excitedly boarded buses for the city and then waited for what seemed hours at the oval waiting for her appearance. She was driven around the oval in an open Land Rover. She was standing in the back waving.
Thousands of school children gather at the SCG to see the Queen Mother in 1958

The Queen Mother waves to us standing in the back of the Land Rover.

The same year (1958), I managed to get into the school swimming team to compete at the State Championships held at North Sydney Pool. At the time it was the only olympic sized pool in the city. We travelled on the train for an hour to get there. It felt special to be representing my school, but I wasn't good enough to get into the finals but I still enjoyed the day.
I was thrilled to say hello and take a photo of Ilsa Konrads, who was an Olympic Champion even though she was still at school.
North Sydney Olympic Pool 1958, it is still there today.

Ilsa Konrads, Olympic Champion 1958

25 comments:

  1. my husband is a master swimmer, he swam in high school in the mid 50's, i will show him these photos. he loves your header shot, i showed that to him yesterday. he does not blog or do email, just finds things for me to order for him. he is 74 and still swims every day

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  2. You showed talent even at that early age, Diane. Your photographs are great!!!

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  3. I'd say it is a Jeep. Such a great story Diane - i'm loving the instalments. xxxx

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  4. Oh Wow---Guess that was pretty special getting to see the Queen. These days, she couldn't do that (for security reasons). Kinda sad how bad the world has gotten now, isn't it????

    Congrats on being a rep. from your school to the big Swimming match. That is an honor in itself. Neat getting to meet one of the Olympic champions... Wow!!!

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  5. It is so nice to see the old photo's. I like it very much. I must admit I have never heard of the Olympic champion, but I was only 10 at the time.

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  6. You have got the BEST photo album ever! I wish everyone could have/ would have been so vigilant in keeping great photographic records..You did GOOD!

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  7. That would have been a special moment to meet Isla Konrads - Did she have a brother who was also an olympic swimmer?

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  8. Diane, sounds like you had a very exciting life as a teenager. Loved the photos of the Queen and Ilsa, the olympic swimmer. Great sotry and photos.

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  9. You did a great job with your camera back then as well.
    I remember the Brownie Box - very reliable. So exciting to own your first camera isn't it.
    Great memories! What a thrill to meet Ilsa Konrads.

    (My hubby said it's a Land Rover and, considering it is carrying the Queen Mother, is probably a Series 2 which had only commenced production in 1958.)

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  10. I'm still amazed at the number of photos you have to document growing up.
    Wonderful photos especially the one of Ms. Conrads.
    You've had an adventurous life. :)
    I'm enjoying looking back with you.

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  11. Yes. Susan's husband is right. It is a Land Rover.

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  12. The swimmer in Lane #1 has jumped the gun! Was that you? Disqualified after two breaks was the order of the day in those times, now I think you don't get any more chances.
    Colin (HB)

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  13. Yes, Dianne, Ilsa had a brother, Jon, who also was an olympic champion.

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  14. I too am enjoying the story. You did well with that box brownie.

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  15. Hi Diane, great memories and very good photos. Thanks for sharing this memorable and happy times.

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  16. Lovely to read. Good to have those photos thanks for sharing.
    I remember the Queen coming to Tasmania once :) I met her because of my dad. :)

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  17. How interesting ! I love to dig out old long forgotten photos ! with all the work here in the house I found a whole box ! I haven't looked through yet. The scans came out real nice !

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  18. Thank you for sharing these pictures and stories as you scan your old pictures. I find both to be very interesting, although you're making me feel guilty because I have some old photos that need to be scanned to preserve them.

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  19. Fantastic post, Diane, I really enjoyed reading it. I had a Kodak Box Brownie too, I remember you had to hold it very still. Thank you for showing these photos, there are a lot of memories there.

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  20. Thanks Diane, as always your writing and photography is so enjoyable particularly telling how it was.

    Lizzie

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  21. So nice going down memory lane. The photos have come out very nicely.

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  22. No wonder you're such a good photographer, you started early. I'm amazed you got so close to the Queen Mum.

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  23. Great story Diane. I remember seeing the Queen Mother when I was young. Actually I only saw the feather in her hat as her car passed by. My view was blocked by the crowd in front of me but it was fun knowing that feather belonged to the Queen Mum.

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  24. My Mom used to have a Brownie! You must have been a very good swimmer to even qualify for that swim meet!

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  25. You should write a book about all of this. Oh wait... maybe you are. :) I love all of your history stories.

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