A tartan fit for a King!
Government House has taken delivery of a Queensland tartan, whose existence owes much to the skill and persistence of Bundaberg cane farmer and renowned weaver, Mr Jack Allen.
The tartan features colours representative of Queensland’s natural environment, including a blue that invokes the waters of the Great Barrier Reef, a green that hints at tropical rainforest and yellow for our tropical sandy beaches.
Despite its obvious suitability for proud tartan wearers of the Sunshine State, it took years to have it registered and accredited – by the Tartan Society of Scotland no less.
Mr Allen, before passing away in May 1997, requested the help of the St Andrews Society of Scotland Bundaberg Branch, and the Scottish Clans Congress, to assist in promoting the tartan.
Mr John Agnew, then President of the Scottish Clans Congress of Queensland, took up the cause, canvassing Scottish societies, bands and individuals, who were all supportive of the concept but concerned it might be too “bright” a tartan for gentlemen.
Based on this feedback, Mr Agnew arranged for the colours to be muted, which gave rise to the Dress Tartan and Hunting Tartan.
The Scottish Tartans Society ultimately praised the work of Mr Allen, accepting his design and adding it to their register of cloths. See State Library of Queensland - International Tartan Day and the Queensland Tartan.
Available in three styles, Dress, Hunting and Muted, it has been proudly adopted by Government House as its go-to tartan.
Who knows, it may even be used in the manufacture of gifts fit for Royalty, for example a tie for King Charles III and a scarf for Queen Consort Camilla should they visit anytime soon!