Warwick Community Reception
Mr James Lister MP, Member for Southern Downs;
Councillor Tracy Dobie, Mayor of Southern Downs Regional Council;
His Grace the Most Reverend Dr Phillip Aspinall;
Distinguished guests, Ladies and gentlemen,
Kaye and I are absolutely delighted you all have taken the opportunity to be with us here today and we thank you all most wholeheartedly.
We have just come from visiting Scots PGC College, the girls’ boarding section: what an outstanding school - one of the many situated here in Warwick, which have justly earned the town a fine reputation as a centre for educational excellence.
The primary driver of our visit to Warwick this weekend is the invitation to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the dedication of St Mark’s Anglican Church, just across the road.
Anglican worship in this area commenced only 8 years after the pioneering Leslie brothers settled in the district, and continues today in the picturesque sandstone Church of St Mark as well as in six other churches within the parish.
St Mark’s Anglican Church has played an important role in Warwick life for many generations and I commend the men and women who are working hard to preserve the church. Throughout my term as Governor, having visited almost every corner of the State, Kaye and I have learned never to underestimate the determination of volunteers, so I feel sure the dedicated laypeople of St Marks will secure the preservation of this landmark for future generations. I certainly hope so. Quite apart from significant services and activities within, edifices like St Mark’s tend to be anchors of stability, fonts of inspiration, in these wonderful communities.
I would also like to acknowledge the many community organisations that are represented here today of which I am very proud to be Patron: Cancer Council Queensland, Girl Guides Australia Queensland, of which Kaye is Patron, Girls’ and Boys’ Brigade Queensland, the Leukaemia Foundation, the Queensland Men’s Shed Association, the Queensland Country Women’s Association, the Queensland Branch of the Returned and Services League, the Royal Queensland Bush Children’s Health Scheme, and Scouts Queensland. If I were to try to enumerate the many ways in which each of you is making Warwick, the region and our state a better place in which to live we would be here all night – so instead I will settle for simply, humbly, thanking you for all you do.
Before I conclude, I would also like to touch on the Commonwealth Games, which concluded last week. I’m aware that on its incredible journey all the way from Buckingham Palace to the Gold Coast, the Queen’s Baton passed through Warwick, and seventeen locals carried the baton across town, including Tshinta Kendall from Pormpuraaw, the Captain of Girls Boarding at Scots: we met Tshinta this afternoon.
I would like to thank all of those baton carriers, as well as all other Warwick residents who have played their part in the success of the Games, including as volunteers. The Commonwealth Games has been a tremendous win for all of Queensland, and communities throughout the state — including Warwick — share in that victory.
May I say in conclusion, it is wonderful to be with you here in Warwick, as a town a true gem of regional Queensland, and its people, examples of the very best qualities of which we Queenslanders unashamedly boast!
Thank you very much.