The day Queen Elizabeth II came to Frankston

By: James MacLeod, Managing Director - Tobin Brothers Funerals
Thursday, September 15, 2022

It was Friday 7th March 1986 and I was 15 years old, attending Ballam Park Technical School in Frankston. 

One of the largest schools in the area, Ballam Park had been selected for Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip to visit during their 12 day tour of Australia. 

The Royal State car arrived and Queen Elizabeth ll, Prince Phillip were greeted by our Principal and two students selected by the school to make a presentation to the Queen.

The first classroom in which Queen Elizabeth II entered was the automotive classroom and I was present working on a Holden 202 motor, changing spark plugs.

The Queen walked by us, and although we had been told not to stare and not to engage unless spoken to, when she was a metre away from me, I couldn’t help but stare! 

She was groomed immaculately. White gloves, light blue coloured dress, hat and handbag. I can still remember her skin and later I told my mother how radiant the Queen was.

Prince Phillip, as often was the case, was some metres behind and he did engage with us as we worked on the motor. 

His enquiry was around what type of motor it was, and we advised him it was a Holden 6 cylinder 202. He certainly came across as genuinely interested as he engaged with many people in the automotive classroom.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip then visited several other classrooms. 

The official party gathered and were seated on stage for various different performances provided by not only Ballam Park but the other local schools who had also gathered on the oval that day.

It was a wonderful occasion and I guess the enormity of what an occasion it was didn’t really hit me until I learnt of the Queen’s Death in recent days. 

Frankston is sure a long way from Buckingham Palace but it just demonstrates no matter where you live, who you are, or what you do some wonderful opportunities come our way even though we don’t necessarily realise it at the time.

Thank you for your years of service Queen Elizabeth II and thank you for dropping by to Frankston.

James MacLeod

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