April 19

“The Queen won”: republican

The image of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II used for the stamp  released on 18 April 2006 by Australia Post for The Queen’s Birthday on 21 April, 2008 is based on a picture   taken at an official dinner held at Parliament House in Canberra on 14 March, 2006.

The Queen wore the badge of the Sovereign Head of the Order of Australia.

A more detailed image of the Sovereign’s badge appears on the $2.00 stamp in this issue.

The dinner was a major event in the Royal Visit, or as the Canadians say, Homecoming in 2006.

In her address, Her Majesty reflected on the changes in Australia she has seen over her reign. Her Majesty said:

"It is perhaps difficult for many of you, under the relentless pressure of day to day demands, to stand back and reflect on wider horizons.

"But I hope you will allow me, with a certain sense of perspective as I approach my eightieth birthday and on my fifteenth visit here, to express my conviction that Australia in the course of my lifetime has firmly established itself amongst the most respected nations of the world. 

"I am clear that this country is already a key global player in the 21st century, a voice of wisdom and honesty, a tough and dependable operator in our exciting, fast-moving world. 

"So I am grateful to you for inviting me here tonight that I may put on record my enduring faith in Australia and its ideals. 

"I welcome the chance to express once again my admiration and affection for Australians everywhere; and I thank you above all for this opportunity to reaffirm my confidence in the future of this great country."

…Her Majesty won, says republican….

Both the then Prime Minister Mr. Howard and the Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Beazley spoke.

When The Queen came down from the platform in the Great Hall, she went over to a table where her former Australian Prime Ministers were seated. They greeted her warmly.  All but Mr Keating were present.

I could not help but reflect on the fact that all three, Mr. Whitlam, Mr Fraser and Mr. Hawke had all campaigned for a republic in 1999.

Later the Hon Bill Hassell from Western Australia, impressed by the favourable speech by Mr. Beazley, invited him to join ACM.

The genial Mr. Beazley chose not to answer that directly, but said there was no point pushing republicanism.

 “She (meaning The Queen) won (the referendum),”  he said.

True, but with impeccable respect for her position, Her Majesty did not campaign. She left it to us.

The decision was a landslide against the republican juggernaut.

If it had gone the other way it would not be being re-opened now.

So what possible justification is there to put more millions of the taxpayers’ money into this folly?


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