From 18 to 21 February 1958, the Queen Mother visited Queensland in a whistle-stop tour which included a State Reception at Parliament House, a North Brisbane School Children’s Welcome at the Exhibition Grounds, a South Brisbane Children’s Welcome at the Brisbane Cricket Grounds, a Civic Welcome at Brisbane’s City Hall and visits to Ipswich and Boonah.
Her itinerary also featured a visit to St John’s Cathedral in Ann Street, Brisbane on the afternoon of 20 February. As the Queen Mother’s car arrived at the Cathedral at 4:21pm, the bells were rung in welcome and Her Majesty was greeted by Archbishop Reginald Halse. After being introduced to various members of the clergy and their wives, the Queen Mother was escorted inside the Cathedral to a special chair at the foot of the chancel steps, the same seat her daughter, Queen Elizabeth II had occupied during her visit in 1954. According to The Courier-Mail, Archbishop Halse then gave a short address of welcome.
Outside the Cathedral, the Queen Mother was shown the foundations of the nave and a model of the proposed extensions to the Cathedral. The Telegraph newspaper estimated there were approximately 4,000 people within the Cathedral and its grounds with thousands more in the street.
Amateur filmmaker Bill Rahmann was present outside the Cathedral and captured several minutes of footage of the Queen Mother’s visit. This film is available to view via our One Search catalogue, along with other films from Bill Rahmann’s collection.
This footage also shows the Queen Mother inspecting a model of the St John’s Home for Aged Men, which was later constructed at Toowong.
Myles Sinnamon – Engagement Officer, State Library of Queensland