Queen comforts flood victims
WITH a calm Brisbane River as a backdrop, Queen Elizabeth heard stories of heartache, horror and hope from some of Queensland's flood victims.
More than 200 people who lost family or homes and the volunteers who helped them packed a room at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre yesterday for their moment with the Queen.
Twenty groups stood in arched lines as they waited for Her Majesty or Prince Philip who shook the hands of everyone they met.
Spring Bluff flood victim Sarah Norman will frame the photograph of her meeting the Queen and her three-month-old baby Elenor to give to her daughter as a memento when she is older.
Ms Norman was three months pregnant when her parents, Steve and Sandy Matthews, were swept away from their Spring Bluff property on January 10.
"I think the general message to everyone was that she was sorry for anyone who endured the floods and grateful to anyone who helped," Ms Norman said.
John and Lynette Lynch said their meeting with the Queen was wonderful timing, as they prepared to move back into their once-ruined Fernvale home this week.
"It is exceptional.
"It is once in a lifetime," Mr Lynch said.
Another person who was invited to meet with the Queen was Toowoomba police officer Constable Chloe Beattie.
Const. Beattie was working unassisted at roadworks on the Warrego Highway, Withcott, on January 10 when the "inland tsunami" occurred.
Unassisted, she kept calm and helped distressed people who had escaped the destruction at Murphys Creek despite having only been with the QPS for two years.