Private Viewing of the Newly-Acquired Portrait of Queensland’s Eighth Governor, Lord Lamington
Thank you, Mr Walters. I too acknowledge the distinguished group before me, particularly our former Governor and Governor-General the Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce.
I was delighted to receive an invitation to be here tonight. It is I think my first ‘private viewing’ in this vice-regal capacity. I am, in that capacity, privileged in many ways, and to represent our people tonight in this way, is very special.
I am told we gather on what is – my wonderful advisers tell me – five days in advance of the anniversary of Baron and Lady Lamington’s departure from our shores on 20 December 1901.
While it may seem a little odd to be referring to their departure, this portrait – as yet the most significant acquisition relating to Lamington to be held in Queensland – will continue to ensure their contributions cannot easily depart our State’s collective memory.
Although the cake certainly gives them a sort of mojo!
That aside, the Lamingtons were stylish, younger people, and well-respected for their excellent commitment. He was in fact the first Governor of the State, upon its establishment in 1901.
As Governor with, as I claim, an abiding interest in our State’s history – an interest I seek, Professor Sussex, to satisfy omnivorously – I am thrilled this portrait is coming ‘home’.
And it is a captivating portrait. Informed of the possibility of a long term loan to Fernberg, I can assure you I responded with alacrity.
We will be delighted to have Lamington with us at Paddington very much in the long term, if suitable to our wonderful State Library.
This original oil is to hang in the corridor directly off the Drawing Room at Fernberg. It will therefore be seen, and revelled in, by countless guests and visitors. It joins the watercolour facsimile of a pastel portrait of Sir George Bowen which hangs in the entrance hall.
The acquisition of the portrait adds to the significant collection of historical Governor items beneficially preserved in this edifying depository.
This includes, displayed tonight, our first Governor, and a real plenipotentiary, Sir George Bowen’s sword: when I say plenipotentiary – he came here and effectively ordained our system of government, and he did it very well, and not by the sword! Then there is: the collection of documents recently submitted by Governor Sir James Ramsay’s former Aide-de-Camp Mr Keith Cassidy (who joins us tonight); and the transcription of Lady Lamington’s diary during that eighth Governorship.
And my formal judicial regalia of 29 years are off to the Queensland Museum. I have been superannuated from that particular role!
Thank you all once again.
Your sustained effort in painstakingly acquiring, cataloguing and preserving these indicators of our rich history is something for which every Queenslander can be grateful, and which, in my vice-regal role, I am most honoured to support.