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Published on 27 March 2019
"We figured that the most boring feature of our trip on the Queen Elizabeth would be the port call at Burnie on March 11.
"To make matters worse it was a public holiday the day the ship arrived, making the day-long stop an even more lacklustre prospect.
"With a gritted-teeth attitude we disembarked, lost for words and astounded, to find Mayor Steve Kons in full regalia and his deputy, Giovanna Simpson, there at the gangway to welcome us individually and hand out Burnie badges.
"It was a civic first for us and they happily obliged with a photo to prove it.
"The ground was thick with easily identifiable volunteers with information, maps, driving buses and giving commentaries.
"In town, we had a good cup of coffee, an interesting stroll down the boardwalk to the fascinating Makers' Workshop - marvelling at the papier-mache sculptures and the dress knitted from paper patterns and then back along the boardwalk where the town band was tuning up.
"We listened to everything from marches to jazz and TV show themes and left a hefty donation, our hearts considerably lifted at this stage.
"A volunteer-driven bus took us to the Emu Valley Rhodo Garden (once again volunteers to the fore to explain the history and set up of the place) where we spent a great length of time in quiet by the main lake and were rewarded by seeing a platypus.
"Another unbelievable first.
"Lunch was a beachside treat near the surf club - a memorable feed of fish and chips for us and some of your seagulls and then a return to the ship where your Scottish pipe band played lengthily to pipe us back on board (another first) with people lining the ship's decks to take in the spectacle.
"I hope the bandsman shaking the donation tin had it stuffed full of contributions.
"We admired your unspoilt and non-commercialised beach front, your sympathetic boardwalk to accommodate the penguins, the cheerfulness and helpfulness of your volunteers, the talent of your civic and Scottish pipe bands.
"We were wrong to pre-judge Burnie.
"It made a huge deposit in our memory banks - in fact it was the stand out memory of the trip.
"Other passengers were of the same opinion and gave Burnie a glowing endorsement.
"But I bet they won't write and tell you. We made a note of your local newspaper and thought we should."
Jill Bowen and Peter Austin, Forestville, New South Wales
Monday-Friday 8:30am - 5:00pm
Closed Public Holidays
Burnie City Council
PO Box 973
80 Wilson StreetBurnie, TAS 7320
Tel: 03 6430 5700
ABN: 29 846 979 690