Royal gift for Fly­ing Docs

Townsville Bulletin - - News -

AUS­TRALIANS who de­cide to send the royal cou­ple a wed­ding gift will also be help­ing Aus­tralian char­i­ties.

The Royal Fly­ing Doc­tor Ser­vice and Earthwatch are among a hand­ful of char­i­ties out­side the UK to be in­cluded on a list of 26 ben­e­fi­cia­ries, cho­sen by Prince Wil­liam and Cather­ine Mid­dle­ton to ben­e­fit from the Royal Wed­ding Char­i­ta­ble Fund.

RFDS na­tional chair­man, Ma­jor Gen­eral Michael Jef­fery, said he was hon­oured by the cou­ple’s ges­ture, which con­tin­ued a tra­di­tion of royal in­ter­est in the ser­vice’s work.

‘‘. . . the royal fam­ily has shown great in­ter­est in our work, in­clud­ing vis­its by the Queen to our Bro­ken Hill Base in 1954 and to the Cairns Base in 2002, whilst Prince Charles vis­ited the Alice Springs base in 2005,’’ Ma­jor Gen Jef­fery said in a state­ment.

On Satur­day, Prince Wil­liam will tour the ser­vice’s Cairns base as he vis­its parts of Aus­tralia af­fected by the re­cent nat­u­ral dis­as­ters.

He’ll meet with RFDS staff who helped re­spond to Cy­clone Yasi.

RFDS Queens­land chief ex­ec­u­tive Nino Di Marco said the an­nounce­ment had come as a com­plete sur­prise.

‘‘ We’re just de­lighted,’’ he said.

He said there was no es­ti­mate on how much money the vi­tal ser­vice would re­ceive.

‘‘ We’ll prob­a­bly know, I’d say, in the next few months,’’ he said.

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