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Kids get ‘once in a lifetime’ royal opportunity

Thursday, 24th November, 2011

READY TO ROLL: The Curren children (from left); Abbey (11), Samuel (7) and Riba (9) will perform for Princess Mary tomorrow. READY TO ROLL: The Curren children (from left); Abbey (11), Samuel (7) and Riba (9) will perform for Princess Mary tomorrow.

By Erica Visser

 Bright-eyed School of the Air students are tuning up for tomorrow’s royal performance in front of Crown Princess Mary of Denmark.

Sung to the tune of ‘Waltzing Matilda’, the SOTA school song has been practiced on-air for weeks by 50 students from stations surrounding Broken Hill. 

Among the excited youngsters are Abbey Curren and her siblings Riba and Samuel who will journey from Wampo Station near Mungo for the royal event.

SOTA Principal Michael Fisher said the children were now ready for the big occasion.

“We practice via satellite but it’s quite tricky because there’s a sound and vision delay so when we get together they actually sing with a delay as well,” he explained.

The RFDS asked the school to participate and they will sing before a luncheon on the balcony of the hangar tomorrow.

The school captains will even get to present the Princess with a posie.

“It’s amazing. How often do they get to meet royalty from other countries?,” said Mr Fisher.

“The school community is very excited. The historical links between School of the Air and the RFDS are huge and she has an interest in children so this links up very well.”

The students are due to arrive in the city tomorrow, but the rain this week could have detrimental effects.

“Like any of our events, it depends on the amount of rain as to whether students can get into town. It would be very unfortunate if any couldn’t make it,” Mr Fisher said

Trevallyn Station owner Chrissie Ashby has 11-year-old twin sons who may not be able to get here due to roads being closed.

“We’ve already had over 50 millimetres since last Wednesday and it’s still raining,” Mrs Ashby said earlier this week.

“It’s supposed to be dropping off so we’re hoping to still get there.

“The kids will be devastated if we can’t get in.”

Mrs Ashby said that if the rain steadied the boys still had a chance of making the event.

“From what I’ve heard there’s more rain above Tibooburra so the ones out there might have a bit more trouble, although they’ve got more accessible roads.

“It’s great to get some rain but singing for Her Royal Highness Princess Mary would be a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

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