Victoria League 'Celebration of Commonwealth' Dinner
The Lord Mayor of Brisbane, The Right Honourable Councillor Adrian Schrinner; members of the Consular Corps of Queensland; Dean of St John’s Anglican Church and Chaplain of the Victoria Leagues Club, The Very Reverend Dr Peter Catt; Chairman of the Victoria League Brisbane for Commonwealth Friendship, Mr William Willcocks; Chairman of the Order of Australia Association Queensland, Mrs Ronda Nix OAM; distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.
I begin by acknowledging the original custodians of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera people, and by paying my respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and to any First Nations people here this evening.
First, I bring personal apologies from Her Excellency, the Honourable Dr Jeannette Young AC PSM. She and Professor Nimmo have been in the UK this week, attending a range of events, including a visit to The Victoria League Student House, and tomorrow, as Queensland’s representative of our sovereign, Her Excellency will be in Westminster Abbey for the coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla.
As you know, Her Excellency is a committed Patron of the Victoria League and she therefore asked if I would attend in her stead as Acting Governor. Peter and I were delighted to accept the invitation.
Tomorrow’s coronation will be only the eighth since the First Fleeters arrived and settled on Gadigal land more than 230 years ago.
News of the first coronation, that of George IV, would have travelled by sea for many months before being delivered to Governor Macquarie, but by the time King William IV was crowned, a decade later, the colony had a growing number of newspapers and they enthusiastically published detailed descriptions.
The response was even greater when Princess Victoria was crowned in June 1838. Then, even the uninhibited response of the Westminster Abbey choirboys was faithfully reported. According to the Launceston Advertiser: “a more murderous scream of recognition than that which they gave Her Majesty Queen Victoria was never before heard by civilised ears”.
Three coronations and 125 years later, when Her Late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II was crowned, we had not only newspapers but magazines, film and television, and today, with social media in the mix, we can confidently expect that media coverage of tomorrow’s coronation will break all preceding records, adding to the treasure trove of records for future historians.
Government House itself will host a special Coronation Open Day tomorrow with bands, food stalls, tours of the House and gardens, a super hornet flyover and even a Town Crier declaring the coronation of the King and Queen.
I do hope that many of you will join us at Fernberg to celebrate this milestone in the history of the Victoria League. We can all be confident that, as Head of the Commonwealth, King Charles III will be a committed supporter of the League and its charitable endeavours, and an advocate for its vision of a Commonwealth united by hospitality and friendship.
Thank you for hosting this wonderful evening in honour of such a historic occasion.