Story telling from Australia
The pudding arrived on his birthday and the thank you letter was sent on mine, and that’s the only connection between me and HRH the Prince of Wales; Duke of Cornwall; heir to the throne; patron of the UK Friends of the Royal Flying Doctor Service; patron of the African Flying Doctor Service and now the proud (and appreciative!) owner of one Broken Hill Women’s Auxiliary Christmas pudding.
The letter wasn’t addressed to me of course but I was as excited as if it had been. It was addressed to CC, in an envelope postmarked ‘Buckingham Palace’ dated December 5 2014 (which very nearly justified opening it – Happy Birthday to me-e!) and it was stamped with a royal seal on the flap. Oh how thrilling it must have been when letters were sealed in wax.
The Prince of Wales asked me to write with sincere thanks for the extremely kind gift of the Broken Hill Women’s Auxiliary Christmas pudding.
The tradition of making Christmas puddings for the Royal Flying Doctor
Service is a great testament to the community-mindedness and generosity of the Broken Hill Women’s Auxiliary, as well as the obvious affection in which the Service is held.
If you have an opportunity to do so, please do pass on his Royal Highness’s appreciation to the Broken Hill Women’s Auxiliary.
This comes with the Prince of Wales’s very best wishes.
The letter arrived the day we got back from Broken Hill, where we caught up with friends, spent a precious couple of hours in a creek bed and joined hundreds of others singing carols in the park.
We also attended an event in the RFDS hangar to recognise members of the Broken Hill Women’s Auxiliary for their tireless fundraising efforts, including over half a century of Christmas pudding production.
His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret’d), Governor of New South Wales and patron of the RFDS South Eastern Section, presided over the naming of an aircraft in their honour, accompanied by his wife Mrs Linda Hurley, joint patron of the RFDS SE.
So from now on, the Beechcraft King Air that will take to the skies over Outback Australia, bringing help to people beyond the normal reach of medical attention in this vast country of ours, won’t be known as VH-MSH; it will be called Broken Hill Women’s Auxiliary.
In a week of unspeakable atrocities against innocent men, women and children that event shone a tiny glow of bright light. It warmed us all, not that we needed any warming on a day that hit forty degrees. Let’s hope the blustery wind and rumbles of thunder bring rain next time, they could certainly do with some.
I’d like to add my humble (and rather excited!) thanks and congratulations to members of the Broken Hill Women’s Auxiliary, and to women everywhere who put others first and selflessly help those in need.
Merry Christmas one and all. I’ll leave with you a couple more shots from that fantastic day…