By Vinnie Todd
A massive outpouring of emotions and messages emerged from well-wishers across the world following the recent death of popular monarch of seven decades, Queen Elizabeth 11.
Much closer to home, Manilla couple Wayne and Pam Bearupare two people who held the late monarch in high regard, loyally watching the entire coverage of the lead up to, and during Her Majesty’s State funeral last week.
According to Pam, “It was a once in a lifetime thing. She was constant in our lives – always graceful, despite all the upheaval, not only within her own family but around the world. She was beautiful to look at, and a beautiful person. I think the loss of Dianain 1997 might have affected her a lot”.
Wayne has been a monarchist since his primary school years. “She was non-political, she had to be. But she was always the same no matter what she had to cope with, she kept smiling. A lot of people probably think she led a charmed life, but no, she couldn’t go outside without people flooding her. And there was no security back in her younger days”.
While the passing of Elizabeth II will fade from the minds of many people in the coming months, the Bearups only have to enter their lounge room to be reminded of her reign. Taking centre stage against the wall is a magnificent glass cabinet displaying a collection of Her Majesty’s memorabilia.The couple has collected a lot of items over the decades, – “we see something, we’ve gotta have it” they jokingly agreed. They both have their favourite pieces too. Pam has two – a quaint little powder compact case depicting Philip and Elizabeth on their engagement (1947), and a Bradford Exchange porcelain doll of the Queen, which Pam describes as “meticulously made with all the finer features of herself and herCoronation gown”.
Wayne’s favourite piece is an old 78 Bakelite acoustic record.
“It’s of King George V and Queen Mary talking to the children of the British Empire back in 1923, all recorded at Buckingham Palace. On the other side is God Save The King. Though I don’t recall where I got it from,” Wayne said.
Like many people loyal to the throne, Elizabeth’s reign has been a big part of the Bearup’s lives.Wayne recalls as a school kid in Sydney going to the showground on one Royal visit.
“We were all dancing in the arena under torch light for her,” he said.
Pam recalls two occasions in which she “partially” viewed the Queen. “When at school in North Sydney on one of her visits, I was only short and remember seeing a car with a green hat in it. And another time with my parents I saw her coming out of a building, and all I can remember is a lot of sparkles.”
Wayne doesn’t remember exactly when his interest in the monarchy was ignited – most probablyback on her 1954 visit while he was at school in Lane Cove, opposite the tram terminus. “One of the trams was decked out in Royal memorabilia. That same year for the 100-year railway centenary, they had a Royal train for her. I’ve still got a photo of that,” he said.
Wayne – a workplace supervisor with the Australian Taxation Office in Sydney for more than 20 years, and Pam, an infant/primary school teacher for a similar period, wanted a tree change. Having Tamworth relatives whom they visited often, Wayne and Pam, accompanied by sons Glenn and Mark, found their way to Manilla back in the late 1970s. Glenn (Tamworth) and Mark (Geelong) have provided their parents with three grandies – all boys, to which Pam quickly quips “on the Bearup side, there hadn’t been a girl born in 100 years until only recently”.
“We love Manilla, friendly people, a good country atmosphere, and everything we need is here,” Pam said.
And while they’re still on the lookout for memorabilia on the Royals, Pam still likes to involve herself in her beloved Beatrix Potter and Arnott biscuit tin collection, and maintaining her garden while Wayne likes to busy himself pottering around with his Anzac biscuit tin collection, tram/train memorabilia, writing articles and his sound equipment assortment.
“I have a lot of sound equipment like radio and record players dating back to late 1800s/early 1900s. I even have a record of the Harbour Bridge opening back in 1932,” he said.