Australians across our Commonwealth wished Her Majesty a Happy 83rd Birthday on 21 April. Functions were held or will be held in places as far apart as Sydney and Perth, and in many other places. These will continue until after The Queen’s Official Birthday in June.

There were reports across the broadcast media. The nation’s highest rating broadcaster, Alan Jones (who is away recuperating) was quoted on the Macquarie Radio Network saying that Her Majesty is the best looking 80 year old in the world.

Of course the underlying tribute was about The Queen’s impeccable service to this nation and to the whole Commonwealth of Nations. Her Majesty has offered leadership beyond politics for over half the life our nation.

                                        

In Sydney, a lunch was held at the beautiful art deco restaurant Cello’s. ( See the picture gallery below; click on 'Read More'.)   After grace was said, the  Loyal Toast was offered, the Royal and National Anthems sung, the capacity room heard the former Leader of the Federal Opposition, the Hon Dr Brendan Nelson, pay a particular  tribute to The Queen and speak about his parliamentary career.

His speech was witty and entertaining, delivered without notes and of considerable substance. In brief, it was superb, and everyone said so. Dr. Nelson is one of the nation’s outstanding speakers, and not just for style. The full speech has been posted, in four parts, to Aussie Crown TV by Jai Martinkovits. It is embedded below on the ACM site. ( Click 'Read More' for parts 2 to 4.)

….”inappropriate to fly the Flag,” declared the headmistress…

In introducing Dr Nelson, I reminded those present that he has been a strong and effective supporter of both the Australian Crown and the Flag.  Against advice, Dr Nelson had ensured that every Australian school  receive a kit on the Flag prepared by the excellent Australian National Flag Association.  

Dr Nelson recalled that as Minister for Education he had visited a school where he had seen no flagpole. The head mistress gave an extraordinary reason for its absence. This she said was because the children had come from such a diverse range of countries and cultures, it was inappropriate to fly the Australian Flag.

Let me repeat that. Because the children had come from such a diverse range of countries and cultures, it was inappropriate to fly the Australian Flag.  

When Dr Nelson returned to Canberra he issued an instruction that, as a condition of receiving federal funding, every school in the Commonwealth would have to fly the Australian Flag, and would be assisted to do so.

Dr Nelson has played a significant role –perhaps the most significant role – in the resurgence of respect and honour which the flag now enjoys. Indeed most of the flag changers have retreated into silence these days. Some have even announced their conversion to its cause.

…the role of Prince Philip….

After the vote of thanks to Dr Nelson, I reminded those present of the service, in peacetime and in war that Prince Philip has given. In particular, I invited them to ignore that pernicious practice which emanates from sections of the British press, caricature journalism.

….the national education project….

Then two young supporters of the Australian Crown joined me to speak briefly about our latest edition of the ACM national education project, which is to be launched on 3 June at Parliament House in Sydney by broadcaster Alan Jones.

I recalled that from its inception, ACM had always been proactive and that publication programme had over the years exceeded the output, both in quality and quantity, of all other participants in the republican debate.   A former prime minister campaigning for the republicans at the time of the referendum said the constitutional monarchists had won the debate.

 Jai Martinkovits spoke about the use of modern information technology to further the project, and Ed Copeman spoke about how we would go into the schools to further this. This was received with great interest by those present. 

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