Northpine Christian College was invited by the Duke of Edinburgh State Award Office to attend a meeting with HRH, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex. His father Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh, is one of the founders and Patron of the Duke of Edinburgh Award. His mother is Queen Elizabeth II, the Queen of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth realms, which includes Australia.
Prince Edward was here for the closing of the Commonwealth Games and was attending Brisbane Grammar School the following day to plant a tree in commemoration of the school’s 150 year celebrations. Part of this was also meeting Duke of Edinburgh participants in Queensland. Only 12 Award units were chosen in Queensland to be part of this event and Northpine was fortunate to be one of these. Only six participants from Northpine were allowed to attend, along with the Award Leader Mr Darryl Hobson and the College Principal Mr Graham Baird.
This was a very special event and each of the invitees was sent information not only on where to be and at what time, but also how to address Prince Edward. Since Prince Edward would be talking with the participants it also included appropriate etiquette when talking and meeting with someone from the royal family.
On Monday April 16, the Award units met at Brisbane Grammar School, ready to meet Prince Edward. They gathered in the front of the school’s library called the “Lilly Centre”, where they were served refreshments of sweets and hot or cold drinks and given time to chat with other award participants and leaders who attended. They were then arranged in front of the library into small groups with our Award Leaders, ready for Prince Edward to arrive.
He arrived in a Commonwealth games car, escorted by two cars carrying his entourage. He walked along the front of the library and spent a few minutes with each award unit. He spoke to the invitees from Northpine, wanting to first of all know where Northpine was and how long it took them to travel in to meet him. He asked what level each of the Northpine participants was working towards and was interested to know what activities they found interesting.
After speaking with each of the 12 Award groups he went outside to be a part of the tree planting ceremony, planting a tree next to a tree that was planted by his father years before.
Northpine Duke’s Award Student Invitees: Cameron Bryer (Silver Awardee), Chantal Clarkson (Silver Awardee), Ethan Clarkson (Gold Awardee), Kaliesha Coyte (Gold Awardee), Ella Sitoman (Silver Awardee), Taran Vardon (Silver Awardee).