February 1 1946
Ike Proctor wows them at Buck House.
Back in London the “Kiwis” were invited to an audience with the King and Queen at Buckingham Palace. This took place in a room with a seriously large settee and absolutely nothing else. Maybe the Palace knew something about the acquisitive habits of sports teams.
Everything at the reception went well, with Ike Proctor’s meeting with the Queen, later the Queen Mother, perhaps the highlight.
“Every touring team has its court jester. The Kiwis had Ike Proctor. He was no show off, nor did he amuse himself with practical jokes or witty quips. He was just Proctor. He was only half Maori and therein lay the cause of his humour. The moment you heard him speaking in a pseudo-Maori voice you knew the devil was whispering in his ear.
There came the occasion that the Kiwis were summoned to Buckingham Palace for an audience with his late Majesty George VI and the Queen, now the Queen Mother. Eagerly the loot hunters looked forward to the visit and great their disappointment when, on being shown into the audience chamber, they saw that the only moveable souvenir was a settee that would seat about twenty.
An Aide appeared and marshalled the party into a horse-shoe shaped group, and instructed them in the procedure to be followed. As the King came along each one would come to attention and be introduced to His Majesty by Colonel Andrews. You were to address him as ‘Your Majesty’ or plain ‘Sir’. If he offered his hand you bowed slightly as you took it, and then answered any questions asked of you. The same procedure for the Queen, to whom you were introduced by Major Saxton. In her case you addressed her as ‘Your Majesty’ or ‘Ma’am’.
Everything went swimmingly, with the Royal couple being most charming. As they passed on we relaxed and thought of the souvenirs we couldn’t have. Then it came to Proctor’s turn to be introduced to the Queen:
SAXTON: ‘This is Private Proctor, Ma’am.’ (Proctor springs to attention with a click of heels that would have made even a Hitler Youth jealous.)
QUEEN: ‘How do you do, Mr Proctor? Do you like it here?’
PROCTOR: ‘No, Ma’am’ (We shudder. He’s got his pseudo-Maori voice on).
QUEEN: (slightly taken aback) ‘Oh?
PROCTOR: ‘I want to get back to New Zealand, Ma’am.’
QUEEN: (Sensing something in the wind) ‘Why is that, Mr Proctor. Aren’t people here nice to you?’
PROCTOR: (Still the psuedo) ‘It’s not that, Ma’am. I want to get back to New Zealand to have a good feed of wild pig and kumara.’
That finished us. We roared with laughter, with the King and Queen joining in. But Ike hadn’t finished. He had the ball at his feet and he intended scoring.
PROCTOR: ‘How’s the girls, Ma’am?’ (We shudder. Not the Princesses, the girls!)
QUEEN: ‘They’re very well, thank you, Mr Proctor. In fact they’d have loved to have been here to meet you today, but they had to fulfil another engagement with their Brownies troop. However, I shall tell them you asked after them. Thank you very much.’
PROCTOR: ‘She’s right, Ma’am, she’s right.’
That was Proctor.”
From: “HAKA THE ALL BLACKS STORY” by Winston McCarthy. Published by Pelham Books 1968. P.191-92.