13 Jun 1960

Sylvia Foot was preparing for the last Queen’s Birthday at Government House


Sylvia Foot was preparing for the last Queen’s Birthday at Government House:

Hundreds of tall gladioli had arrived, great, big, fat gladioli with long stems and large blooms and we had a good number of tall stands of the kind that bare used at flower shows. We worked swiftly, Photis Christodoulou and the Turkish flower girl and two gardeners and my Armenian maid Araxy and I, on the conveyor belt system. I arranged the white flowers leaving space for Araxy to fiull in with blues and Photis to finish up with huge great spectacular red ones, when I chanced to look towards the drive. There, to my astonishment and alarm, were hundreds and hundreds of cars – some parked in the parking place, others queuing up on the drive. People were pouring out of them and making towards the entrance. I dashed inside4 and cried out to9 the ADCs that some dreadful catastrophe was taking place. People had either mistaken the time of the reception or they were forming into one huge mass demonstration to march up and protest about something. It was some time before I could understand and believe their explanation. These were the people of Cyprus, British, Greek and Turkish coming to pay their respects and present their good wishes to the representative of the Queen on Her Birthday. They were patiently, quietly and in vast numbers signing the visitor’s book which was kept at the top of the drive.