Queen Gail SnellTopend Flames
Northern Territory, AustraliaQueen Gail Snell (Topend Flames, Wulagi, NT, Australia) was born and grew up in Sydney, NSW, Australia. At 18, she joined the Women's Royal Australian Air Force (WRAAF). Trained as an Aircraft Plotter (Radar) she was posted to Darwin where she met and married a Royal Air Force Security Dog Handler. During their marriage they had three children. After losing their home and all of their personal possessions in Cyclone Tracy, they moved to Perth, where they lived for several years before divorcing.
Gail spent 25 years working in the Federal Public Service, in both Darwin and Perth. Her first position was as Human Resource Manager; later she served as Ministerial Officer to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs.
Her interests range far and wide, and include gardening, reading, sewing, cooking and traveling (her official title is "Queen Gail Travel-a-lot" for good reason). Among many other places, she has traveled to Egypt, China and Africa, where she walked with lions. She says, "I have flown over the Arctic Circle where I enjoyed a lunch with a Red Hat Queen in Fairbanks, Alaska."
For 18 years she has been kicking up her heels with a group of women who love to line dance. A few years ago the group formed a Chapter of the RHS as a way to ensure that they would keep in touch after they got "too old to dance" (which hasn't happened yet). Gail says they are now enjoying themselves at both line dancing and Red Hatting.
In 2010 she attended a large Red Hat gathering in Paris, where she met women from many places, some from other parts of Australia. Eventually, Gail and another Darwin Queen organized a week-long gathering in their own neck of the woods, they called "Red Sunset and Sparkles", drawing 250 Australian Hatters (and one from abroad)!
She relates that her Chapter meets two to three times a week to line dance and supplement these gatherings with group dinners, making sure to celebrate each other's birthdays and Christmas together. Other activities include movies, lunches, gardening workshops, etc. They often enjoy joint functions with another Darwin group called The Palmy Plumes.
Queen Dawn and her Chapter provide a marvelous illustration of creative ways to stay connected, form new friendships and keep the fun in Red Hatting! HATS ON!