A Short History Lesson

Even though I am not a big history buff like sister Barb, I enjoyed very much learning about this affinity between the Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth with the people of Sydney, Australia.

When the Queen Mary 2 and the Queen Elizabeth met in Sydney Harbor on the 22rd of February, it was a historic rendezvous, because it was the first time these two ships had been in Sydney together, and it brought back memories to the Australians of an earlier rendezvous in Sydney on April 9, 1941, when the original Queen Mary and the original Queen Elizabeth rendezvoused.  Both of these original ships had been converted during World War II to be troop transports.  Queen Mary made 13 visits to Sydney and Queen Elizabeth made 9 separate visits, carrying troops to and from the war fronts in the Middle East and Singapore.  Many lives were lost during that conflict, so those veterans who returned home to Sydney from the war, are very grateful for the part that these two Cunard liners served at such a critical time.

As a result a great number of Australian people lined the way for us as we sailed into Sydney Harbor, even though it was 5:30 in the morning when we first began our entry to the Harbor.  I think every news channel had a helicopter in the air.  The little motorboats, harbor ferries, sailboats, they all participated to make us feel very welcome.

Queen Mary 2 led the way, followed by the new Queen Elizabeth.  Quite a lot of fanfare, but we loved seeing and hearing it.  When we got to a fork in the harbor, the Queen Elizabeth came along side her big sister, and the two Queens started blowing their horns, first one and then the other.  And in between their long deep blasts, the little boats would pipe in with their 2 cents worth too.  I do not think anyone in Sydney got to sleep late that morning with all the noise we caused.  It was quite a Royal Rendezvous!

Then the next day, the Queen Mary2 hosted a special Remembrance Service for 40 of these now elderly veterans who have memories going back 70 years when they sailed home on these original liners from the war.

Below is a link to the blog entry that Peter Shanks, Cunard’s President and Managing Director, wrote regarding this event.

http://wearecunard.com/2011/02/sydney-royal-rendezvous-part-one-%e2%80%93-the-arrival/

 

Syndey's Harbor Bridge at 5:30 AM

Flotilla of boats greeting us

Fire boat welcoming us to Sydney

Sydney Opera House at the harbor's edge

Queen Elizabeth during the Rendezvous

Queen Elizabeth heading for her berth.

Queen Elizabeth photographed from deck of Queen Mary 2. Sydney Harbor bridge in the background.

Queen Mary 2 was berthed at the Sydney Naval Yard. We just fit nicely between the two gun ships.

JoAnn and Jim Ryan, our good friends from Hilton Head were all bundled up to watch the Royal Rendezvous with us.

 

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2 Responses to “A Short History Lesson”

  1. Betty Schnatterly March 4, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    Enjoying the trip immensly. Remember you have a car rental in Guam that requires a 24 hr cancellation should you decide not to use it. They do have your credit card number.

  2. This one gave me goosebumps! What a wonderful history lesson. Great photos.

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