Will the newlywed royal couple visit their WA namesake?

Many moons ago, the region covering an area from Forest Grove to Jarrahwood to Busselton to Dunsborough to Margaret River to Augusta and everywhere in between used to be known as Sussex Land District or Sussex County.

The namesake of the newlywed Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

The county was designated in 1829 in honour of Prince Augustus Frederick, the Duke of Sussex.

This week the state government revealed they were pitching for the now Duke and Duchess of Sussex to visit WA when they are in Australia for the Invictus Games later this year.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the royal couple made a flying visit down south to visit their namesake?

Sussex Fire Brigade volunteer Graham Bailey thinks so.

Mr Bailey said it would be a good idea for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to visit the Sussex Volunteer Fire Brigade station to meet their volunteers.

“I do not think our members will be too upset about it, maybe a little starstruck,” he said.

“While they were here they could visit the Busselton Jetty and the Old Butter Factory, which used to house a seat Prince Harry’s grandmother sat in, unfortunately it was burnt in the fire.”

It would not be the first time royals have visited Busselton, as many of you would remember the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh flew into Busselton in March, 2000.

While they were here her royal highness and his majesty visited the Vasse Primary School, principal Sinan Kerimofski said they would be absolutely delighted to host another royal couple.

With the school about to hit the world stage in their world record attempt, Mr Kerimofski said it would be fitting for the royal couple to follow in their grandmother’s footsteps.

“The students would react with great anticipation and excitement,” he said.

“In fact, the talk around the staff room table was they could not believe how many children were talking about the wedding. From kindergarten right through to Year Six.”

Former Busselton resident Sid Breeden said the first time Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip visited Busselton, they arrived by aircraft at the old Busselton wartime airfield on March 30, 1954.

He dug up some old photos of other royal visitors and found the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester inspecting a paddle steamer named Jumna in Busselton.

The royal couple were pictured on the the grounds of St Mary’s church on October 6 in 1946 with the designer of the paddle steamer Jumna.

Mr Breeden said an excerpt in Jumna’s log book written by Rev Robert Davies showed – it was a proud day for him because he made the entry in capital letters – normally he used normal hand writing.

He also noted Rev Davies was the rector from 1934 to 1955, and was born in Petworth, Sussex England.

“Jumna was modelled on the paddle tug Jumna which operated at the Sussex port of Littlehampton,” he said.

Before the local government became Busselton, Mr Breeden said, the area consisted of two local governments.

“The Municipality of Busselton was the township area and the surrounding area was The Sussex Road Board – cars and bikes had different number plates,” he said.

“BN for Busselton and SU for the Sussex Road Board area. Today the number plate is BSN.”

Mr Breeden said the Busselton Road Board was formed on May, 18 1951 from an amalgamation of the Sussex Road Board and the Municipality of Busselton.

The Busselton Road Board became the Shire of Busselton on July 1, 1961, he said.

Tourism Minister Paul Papalia said the South West would be a perfect place for the royal couple to venture.

“Fittingly formerly titled the Sussex Land District, home to tall tree forests, cave systems, stunning beaches and a raft of wineries, breweries and providores,” he said.

“WA is the western gateway to Australia and is the ideal spot for the royal couple to start or finish their Australian adventure later this year,” he said.

“We have so many unique experiences to offer and it would be a great honour if Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sussex could spend some time getting to explore our extraordinary state.”
Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association chief executive officer Clare Savage shared Mr Papalia’s sentiments and said the royal couple would be mad not to visit the region.

“Of course we think Harry and Megan would thoroughly enjoy a visit to the region,” she said.

“The list is endless as to attractions worthy of a royal visit but given the amount of media attention they receive, top of the list would be finding a beach to themselves along our magnificent coastline.

“A walk along the Cape to Cape track during wildflower and whale season has to be on the itinerary in October – oh and visiting some of our world-class wineries. Wildflowers, whales and wine – they’d be mad not to.”

Forrest MP Nola Marino believes the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would love the South West – which has so much to offer.

“They would have a fantastic time in an area historically known as ‘the Sussex Land District,” she said.

So will Harry and Meghan grace the shores of Geographe Bay while they are in Australia?

That is yet to be seen with BBC royal correspondent Nick Witchell telling the Mail he wasn’t even in the know..

Source: Busselton Dunsborough Times.