Afternoon Reception in Honour of the Queensland University Regiment Association
Ladies and gentlemen, acknowledging the traditional custodians of these lands, and the Association President Brigadier Luttrell, our Patron, Brigadier Sam Harrison and Dr Jennifer Harrison, and our CO Lt Col Gabby Raffin – I presume to personalise that because Gabby is a former ADC here – Kaye and I welcome you all to Government House this evening.
This, I am reminded, is the third occasion on which Association and Regimental members have been invited here over the last seven years – which is actually a fairly poor record for me, for which I must apologise! But it is good to have you all here tonight, including so many long-standing friends and persons of high military and community achievement.
My contemporary John Byrne’s military career was very much more distinguished than mine, but I suspect that his and mine – and indeed Kaye’s observation, was very much, from a 1960s perspective, strongly influenced by memories of people like the late Ken Gaulton and our current Patron, vibrant Sam Harrison, and Officers like the late Charles Tranberg.
But that was a “window in time”, and QUR has endured and flourished for decades since.
Personal development and public contributions… that personal development helped the community more broadly: in fostering, from my own angle for example, Judges, Governors and beyond that, many outstanding professionals.
I am rather sorry to have to say – and I regularly say things which are extremely obvious – that this will be the last of these occasions for Kaye and me, as your hosts. We are so pleased to have you all here tonight.
But then I have to add I am rather disappointed not to have Warrant Officer McMaugh here tonight to tell me, as he confronted me on parade on a number of occasions when I confessed under interrogation that I had an iron, that I should ‘iron my trousers’.
You may be interested to know that we buy David’s Bunjurgen fortified wines here, and they are very good! He is doing well and we see him from time to time.
Now this has no direct relevance to the Association, but indulge me as I recount three utterances from children which I will never forget.
The ‘best’ question I was ever asked at a school was ‘what aspect of your role do you like the least?’ – the answer, of course, biting your tongue; the second, ‘when you stop being Governor will you be an ordinary person again?’ – I never ceased being ordinary; and only yesterday by a student from Narbethong State Special School, ‘Paul, when was your appointment as Governor?’ I replied ‘2014’. He responded ‘29th July’!
Ignore the young at your peril!
Thank you all, and again, welcome.