Most Australians living today have known only one monarch – it is now 58 long years since Her Majesty ascended the throne. Australians for Constitutional Monarchy marked the eve of this important day witha function addresses by Archbishop John Hepworth in Sydney, followed by a dinner in the nation’s heartland, country Australia. On an invitation from Grant Roberts, a remarkably gifted 17 year old student, an ACM Accession Dinner was held in the elegant Forbes Golf Club.
Forbes is an historic town on the Lachlan River in the agriculturally rich Lachlan Valley in New South Wales. As with so much of the country the people here have suffered from a very long drought. But they remain strong and loyal.
The Accession Dinner was attended by over 100 people. Proceedings were opened by Grant Roberts who invited parish priest Father Paul Clarke to say grace.
The National and Royal Anthems followed, presented superbly by a musical ensemble. (Videos follow.)
Then Councillor Ron Penny, representing the Forbes Council spoke movingly about the shire and the nation.
Grant Roberts introduced the speakers for the evening, Young ACM spokesman, Jai Martinkovits and National Convenor, Professor David Flint.
Their presentation was about the role, function and importance of the Crown in the constitutional system. In referring to the National Convenor as the depositary of constitutional knowledge, Jai Martinkovits talked of the potential misuse of the word, as the following video demonstrates.
One questioner challenged the date and relevance of Australia Day. He dismissed Anzac Day as an alternative. I pointed out that the Eureka Stockade could not be used; self government was already in train before that event. I told him he would have little hope of succeeding in changing the day. In my view it was the most appropriate as four of the six foundation pillars came on that day – the rule of law, English, our Judeo-Christian values and our oldest institution which is central to the constitutional system, the Crown. He persisted, so I said there was an outside case for the Tenterfield Oration, although I did not agree. I could not recall the date – it was 24th October 1889.
The evening was , according to all accounts, a great success. A slide show of how Forbes celebrated Accession Day is at the top of this column.
The following day, the three Sydney visitors savoured something of the life in Forbes , visiting the new and fascinating McFeeters Motor Museum, and the celebrated radio telescope at Parkes. nating