North Queensland Club Past Presidents’ Black Tie Dinner
Townsville City Mayor, Councillor Jenny Hill; North Queensland Club President, Ms Elizabeth Buckley; past Presidents; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen.
I acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the lands on which we gather, the Bindal and Wulgurukaba People, and pay my respects to Elders, past, present and emerging. I extend that respect to any First Nations people here this evening.
I would also like to acknowledge the recent passing of Queen Elizabeth the Second, our beloved monarch of 70 years, and the accession of our new Sovereign, His Majesty King Charles the Third.
The outpouring of emotion we witnessed right across our State, and indeed the world, was telling of the impact of The Queen’s long reign on the lives of so many, and the great affection in which she was held.
I am delighted to be back in Townsville for my third official visit to the region, and to have this opportunity to address you for the first time as Patron. I join the procession of a long line of Queensland Governors who have supported this historic Club over the years —commencing with the fourth Governor, William Wellington Cairns in 1885. This makes me 23rd Vice-Regal representative to be Patron, and highlights the incredible longevity of the Club.
From its beginnings, the North Queensland Club has been a place for people to come together — fulfilling an important social role, where personal and professional ties are encouraged and strengthened.
As Townsville itself has grown and prospered, so too has the Club.
And this is in no small way due to outstanding leadership, which has balanced tradition with innovation to meet the changing needs of members.
Each President has made his or her unique mark, contributing ideas, tenacity and diligence to make the North Queensland Club such an important institution in this region.
And so I must pay tribute to and thank each of these amazing individuals, including of course, current President Ms Elizabeth Buckley, for supporting a Club that both reflects and shapes the community it serves.
This is a place that has always offered a relaxed, friendly atmosphere and outstanding hospitality.
But most importantly, has always fostered camaraderie and solidarity amongst its members and visitors — a place to enjoy good company and share stories.
One early storyteller was Mr Julian Thomas, an English-born Melbournian, who visited the Club at its opening event back in August 1885. Thomas was more widely known as ‘The Vagabond’ due to the daring, secretive life he led, spending time under-cover in slums and public institutions, which he then wrote about for The Argus and which often resulted in social reform.
He must have been a fascinating guest that night — and just one example of the many interesting and influential people who have met here over the years.
It is so uplifting to be part of remarkable success stories, such as yours.
This evening follows an enjoyable afternoon spent giving Australian Awards and Honours to a group of very worthy recipients from Townsville and the surrounding regions, so I feel incredibly honoured to be here tonight to continue to celebrate the successes, initiative and enthusiasm of the North.
Congratulations to all for contributing to the prosperity of your Club, and to the vitality of North Queensland.
It now gives me great pleasure to present a Certificate of Patronage to Club Vice-President, Ms Samantha Cohen on behalf of President, Ms Elizabeth Buckley.