NSW Governor opens successful Lightning Ridge Opal Festival


The Govenor of NSW, Margaret Beazley opening the Lightning Ridge Opal and Gem Festival on Saturday. Photo TWH

It may have been delayed a couple of years, but the enthusiasm was high, and the crowds were large at the 2022 Opal Festival held at Lightning Ridge last week.

The event was officially opened last Thursday by the Governor of New South Wales, Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC, accompanied by her husband Mr Dennis Wilson.

Greeted by Deputy Mayor of the Walgett Shire, Councillor Greg Rummery, and event organiser Sally Weeks, the Governor spent time talking to locals and festival visitors as she made her way to officially open the event.

The Governor said that she and her husband Dennis were excited to be out and about in regional areas again.

“We were particularly looking forward to visiting northwest NSW this year to open the Lightning Ridge Opal and Gem Festival, and to meet with local people,” she said.

“It is a welcome opportunity to listen and learn more about the region’s vibrant heritage and culture, and to engage with schools, businesses, and community organisations.

“With all the restrictions over the last few years we have missed being able to visit areas such as Lightning Ridge.”

Governor Beazley toured the festival and met vendors and community members.

Also on the agenda was a visit to the Australian Opal Centre and the Chambers of the Black Hand, and she also had the opportunity to visit Down to Earth Opals and view the famous ‘Fire and Ice’ Opal.

“At 64 kms from the Queensland border, what a superb piece of surveying was undertaken in 1863 by Isaiah Rowland which ensured Lightning Ridge was part of New South Wales!


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