Australia's Flag Lady is an Icon for Sydney Railfans


Even though you may never have heard of her name, 87-year-old Kathleen Payne is Australia’s oldest trainspotter and a national icon. Known as the Croydon Flag Lady, she’s a breath of fresh air for Sydney railfans.

Kathleen Payne has inspired thousands of train riders who have made the 4,362 kilometer journey across Australia on the famous Indian Pacific train. This train apparently holds a special place in Kathleen’s heart because her late father Edward was aboard that same train on its maiden journey back in 1970.

She has been greeting the transcontinental Indian Pacific train with a wave of a full-sized Australian flag as the train rushes through the inner Sydney station of Croydon for decades. The friendly crew of the luxury train knows she’ll be there, and provide advance warning of horn and headlights, to let her get in position. It can’t be seen in the video, but both driver and second man give a familial wave.

Chris Myles, an old Aussie friend of mine, has been in the transportation industry for over 20 years and was interviewed in the Today Show segment – he sent me a link to the national story captured on film.

Below is a shorter video I found on YouTube of someone who caught her in action in 2010.

The top photo, Kathleen received a souvenir from Maurice Bezzina. Photo credit by DAMIAN SHAW. Second photo is a screen grab from the Today Show video.

Renee Blodgett
Renee Blodgett is the founder of We Blog the World. The site combines the magic of an online culture and travel magazine with a global blog network and has contributors from every continent in the world. Having lived in 10 countries and explored nearly 80, she is an avid traveler, and a lover, observer and participant in cultural diversity.

She is also the CEO and founder of Magic Sauce Media, a new media services consultancy focused on viral marketing, social media, branding, events and PR. For over 20 years, she has helped companies from 12 countries get traction in the market. Known for her global and organic approach to product and corporate launches, Renee practices what she pitches and as an active user of social media, she helps clients navigate digital waters from around the world. Renee has been blogging for over 16 years and regularly writes on her personal blog Down the Avenue, Huffington Post, BlogHer, We Blog the World and other sites. She was ranked #12 Social Media Influencer by Forbes Magazine and is listed as a new media influencer and game changer on various sites and books on the new media revolution. In 2013, she was listed as the 6th most influential woman in social media by Forbes Magazine on a Top 20 List.

Her passion for art, storytelling and photography led to the launch of Magic Sauce Photography, which is a visual extension of her writing, the result of which has led to producing six photo books: Galapagos Islands, London, South Africa, Rome, Urbanization and Ecuador.

Renee is also the co-founder of Traveling Geeks, an initiative that brings entrepreneurs, thought leaders, bloggers, creators, curators and influencers to other countries to share and learn from peers, governments, corporations, and the general public in order to educate, share, evaluate, and promote innovative technologies.
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