HER MAJESTY QUEEN ELIZABETH II DIAMOND JUBILEE
Mr JOHN FLOWERS
(Rockdale) [7.23 p.m.]: It gives me great pleasure to deliver to the House a private members' statement congratulating Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God Queen of Australia and Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth, on her Diamond Jubilee. She is known all around the world affectionately as "The Queen". Queen Elizabeth II joins only Queen Victoria in reaching the milestone of 60 years on the throne. In 1947, on her twenty-first birthday, the then Princess Elizabeth stated:
My whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service, and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.
She was, of course, referring to the Commonwealth of Nations. True to her word, that commitment to duty and the Commonwealth continues to this very day. On 6 February I joined with the congregation at Sydney's oldest church, St James' Anglican Church, King Street, Sydney, representing my electorate of Rockdale, in a service of prayer and thanksgiving on the occasion of the sixtieth anniversary of the accession of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The ecumenical church service was attended by representatives from many denominations. The Reverend Andrew Sempell, rector of St James Anglican Church, was the officiant for the service. Also assisting was the Right Reverend Peter Watson, former Anglican Archbishop of Melbourne; the Reverend Dr Paul Logan, OAM, Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Australia; Reverend Father Brendan Purcell, assistant priest, St Mary's Catholic Cathedral, Sydney; Mr James Mein, former moderator of the Uniting Church in Australia; and the Reverend John Stewart, associate rector of St James Anglican Church.
The preacher was His Eminence Cardinal George Pell, AC, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Sydney. Readers included Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir, AC, CVO, Governor of New South Wales, and the Honourable Tom Bathurst, QC, Chief Justice of New South Wales. The head of music Warren Trevelyan-Jones, organist Alistair Nelson, and the choir of St James' Church all contributed to make the service fitting for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
On Wednesday 6 February 1952 the 25-year-old Princess Elizabeth, heir presumptive, learned of the death of her father, King George VI. Princess Elizabeth and Prince Phillip were in Kenya on a tour of the Empire. They at once returned to Britain, to be received by Prime Minister Winston Churchill and his Cabinet for the first time as Queen Elizabeth II. On the steps of Parliament House, Canberra, on 8 February 1952, Sir William McKell, then Governor-General of Australia, proclaimed the Queen's accession. On 2 June 1953 the coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II took place at historic Westminster Abbey.
During the Queen's long reign she has visited Australia on 16 occasions. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has visited many nations, cities and peoples, including in my own electorate of Rockdale, having visited Botany Bay in 1970 to mark the 200th anniversary of Lieutenant James Cook's landing in 1770. James Cook Boys Technology High School, which is in my electorate, received a visit not only from Her Majesty the Queen but also from His Royal Highness Prince Phillip and Her Royal Highness Princess Anne, now the Princess Royal. They arrived on 29 April 1970 at 4.30 p.m. The Queen was presented on her arrival with replica cannons made by students. The royal visitors were welcomed by the principal of James Cook Boys Technology High School, Mr A. Jones, principal of Moorefield Girls High School, Mrs L. Collin, and director general Mr D. Verco.
The residents of Rockdale appreciate the commitment that Elizabeth II has shown towards New South Wales, Australia and the Commonwealth over her 60 years as Queen, and I am sure they will enjoy celebrating, along with the rest of the country, this very special occasion, the once-in-a-lifetime Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. I echo the words spoken by Premier Barry O'Farrell on 6 February:
The people of New South Wales, and indeed the nation, deeply admire and respect Her Majesty's dedication and commitment to the role of Sovereign.
May I conclude by saying that on behalf of my constituency of Rockdale, I thank Her Majesty for her six decades of devoted service and wish her every happiness and good health into the future. God save the Queen.
Private members' statements concluded.