Royal High Fliers Give RFDS a lift

Published: April 29, 2011

I know not every grey nomad will be glued to their television sets today as dashing Prince William ties the knot with his soon to be Princess, Kate Middleton … but there’s an awful lot of you who will be!

Without getting into a great Royals versus Republicans debate, I just hope all of you who love a touch of pomp and ceremony mixed with a dash of glamour have parked the van in a good spot to get perfect TV reception.

Of course, things over in the UK are reaching fever pitch as the big moment nears and the usual barrage of street parties are being organised up and down the country. Major Royal occasions like this always make us think about where we were and what we were doing the last time something on a similar scale rook place … Princess Diana’s funeral, her wedding to Charles, the Queen’s Jubilee or her Coronation. Many of you will recall following some of the earlier events glued to your radios and will recall the excitement they generated.

This wedding of course has generated extra excitement for one iconic Australian organisation ..the Royal Flying Doctor Service. The RFDS was one of only three non-British charities that the Royal couple to be requested wellwishers donate to instead of buying them gifts.

Already, South Australian Premier Mike Rann joined his West Australian counterpart, Colin Barnett, and Julia Gillard in pledging money to the famous outback medical service.

“The Royal Flying Doctor Service is an icon of Australia and is critically important to outback South Australia,” Mr Rann said as he announced his $10,000 donation. “We couldn’t think of a better way of honouring the royal wedding than a gift in its name.”

Earlier this week, Mr Barnett said his government’s $10,000 gift was being split 50-50 between the RFDS and the Save the Children Fund.

The Prime Minister set the pace early last week, when she announced a $25,000 donation from the Australian people.

Prince William and his brother, Prince Harry, have set up a foundation to receive and distribute public and private donations to the selected charities.

RFDS chief executive Greg Rochford said the funds could ensure people in remote areas received medical checks as well as improving emergency services.

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