Gale Collins bought the Black Queen in Lightning Ridge over a decade ago. And what a journey it has taken her on.
Gale originally from the US was leading a normal life with her husband and looking forward to retirement after a career in design. They went north on long service holidays. The journey Cobbitty to Cairns. But a friend suggested they visit the Black Queen in Lightning Ridge on route. Gale was horrified when she saw the town – in fact, she thought it was disgusting and wondered why anyone would want to live there.
Gale Collins – Serendipity or Mystical?
Joan Collins a breast cancer survivor who built the Black Queen invited Gale and her husband inside. Gale stood in the Black Queen and froze. Since she was 19 she had been having a recurring dream – now she was standing in that dream. Her dreams took her to a place full of coloured circles and patterns. And right there and then Gale was standing in a room filled with coloured circles and patterns.The Black Queen was built from 14,000 bottles – and the reflections and patterns send Gale into a frenzy. She bought the place immediately – her husband thought she was mad.
The Black Queen – Back to Life
Together they refurbished the place that had gone into disrepair. The white ants had wanted full control – but were soon evicted.
Gale Collins is a person who does things. So Gale and Roger left work and put their energies into creating something with the Black Queen. Today it is a major tourist attraction. And why?
Gale wrote a play. She was not a playwright. But she scribed three acts. Two acts are about Joan’s journey building the Black Queen. And the third is about the old bottles they have collected – some over 4,000 years old.
Gale started acting. She was not an actor. But created a routine. And for six months in the winter she performs the play and tells the story. Some say the spirit of Joan takes over and leads you on her journey.
One Decision – Many Journeys
Gale and Roger never made it to Cairns. Gale drove Joan back to Sydney. Roger drove their car back to Sydney. And their whole new adventure started.
Joan passed on a few years later. Knowing that her Black Queen had taken a new lease on life. Thanks to Gale Collins.