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Heidelberg Historical Society

Queen Elizabeth in Heidelberg 1970

Posted on Saturday, 10th September 2022 by Janine Rizzetti

To mark the passing of Queen Elizabeth, let’s go back to 8 April 1970 when Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip and Princess Anne were present at the opening of the Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research in Brown Street Heidelberg.

The Heidelberger newspaper reported that more than 2,000 people attended the opening ceremony, which commenced at 3.00 p.m. The many dignitaries included Sir Arthur and Lady Rylah, the Chief Commissioner of Police, Mr N. Wilby, and Councillor Vern Henderson, Mayor of Heidelberg. The Victoria Police Band entertained the crowd for 45 minutes before official proceedings.

The Boy Scouts and Girl Guides were also amply represented, and Heidelberg Council built a special stand on the tennis courts so that children from the Helping Hand Association, a disability service provider in Victoria, could also attend the opening. Children and corgi dogs were given pride of place on both sides of the entrance to greet the official visitors.

Although refreshments were provided in a temporary marquee, the Royal Party toured the Institute instead, accompanied by Alf Dunbavin Butcher (Director of Fisheries and Wildlife Department) and several senior scientists.

The Arthur Rylah Institute is still there in Brown Street Heidelberg, although the tennis courts are no longer used.

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