12 February 2009

Waltzing Matilda

On this day in 1948, the Australian Rugby Union team departed England on the Queen Mary, heading for New York. The Wallabies, on a world tour that had also included stops in Ceylon, Yemen, Egypt, and France, were serenaded by a saxophone rendition of "Waltzing Matilda" as they boarded at Southampton. Among the highlights of their stay was a visit to Buckingham Palace where they met the 18-year-old Princess Margaret, and her parents, the King and Queen. They also stopped at the House of Commons and House of Lords, as well as 10 Downing where they met the Prime Minister, Clement Atlee. The team even found time to play rugby, defeating a combined team of Cornwall and Devon, but losing to the British Barbarians, 9-6.

The Canberra Times

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