"As March comes around each year I look back with nostalgia at this journey as the first Sun Queen of Moomba". The first Sun Queen of Moomba tells her story.
A lifetime ago I read in The Sun New Pictorial they were seeking a Sun Moomba Queen. Sitting with my photos I toyed with the idea…could I do this? Could I be The Sun Queen of Moomba? After a long deliberation and without telling anyone, I delivered my photo, at 5.30pm, on the last day, as the last entrant. From 250 photos submitted, 22 were short-listed. I was lucky to be one of them. Extensive interviews with the judging panel reduced us down to 3, with an overnight wait for the result to appear in the morning Sun. Imagine my surprise to see my photo appear as the chosen Sun Queen of Moomba. A major part of my win was the Tour of Triumph, to promote, invite and encourage visitors to the newly created Festival. With the feelings of great excitement I commenced my Tour in Albury, with the first of many Civic Receptions. Mayor Alderman Cleaver Bunton was the first to sign our Scroll of Honour, Civic leaders adding their signatures at some 16 points of call. On to many and varying functions, balls, visits to schools, hospitals, local beauty contests to judge, theatres, fishing trips, a pigeon race to start, a surprise visit to old soldiers at ‘Burnewang House’, flower shows to open, a memorable visit to the Ballarat Begonia Festival and Gardens, the Geelong Fair was my final appearance before returning to Melbourne for the float Parade. Back to Melbourne for the big Moomba Monday holiday. Prior to the Procession with police escort, I rode in a flower decked open car to the Town Hall to present the Scroll of Honour to the Lord Mayor, Sir Frank Selleck. Continuing on to Alexander Avenue, I embarked on my White Swan to lead the Procession. I rode before a record crowd of 500,000 spectators. A crammed schedule of Moomba Day highlights followed the Parade. A speed boat voyage down the Yarra, opening the Horticultural Show…with gorgeous flowers and Prize Winning pumpkin…and a drive down the straight at the V.R.C. Australia Cup at Flemington. The day climaxed with the Crowning Ceremony in the Treasury Gardens. On Tuesday night at the Moomba Dinner Dance under the patronage of His Excellency the Governor of Victoria, General Sir Dallas Brooks and Lady Brooks, I was officially presented and received my gold watch which was part of my Prize. As March of each year comes around, I look back with nostalgia at this journey as the first Sun Queen of Moomba. I realise that it has given me many things, a feeling of inner confidence, a belief in my abilities to achieve throughout my lifetime, find within myself a resource to tackle life full on and best of all, 50 years of fairy tale memories of a magic time.