Prime Minister Albanese and My esteemed colleagues
Good Morning all, Kia Ora Tena Koutou, Talofa lava, Bula Vinaka, Gutpela monin tru olgate, Daba Namona iboumuai,
I join the Prime Minister in acknowledging the people of Ngunawal and Ngambri Nations for the land on which we gather, their elders, past, present and emerging.
It is an honour and a privilege to be asked to reflect on the amazing grace, humility and dignity of the late, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
As Head of the Commonwealth, she was the Head of State of many Pacific, African and Caribbean States…but she enjoyed a very special and unique relationship with my own beloved Papua New Guinea. Since gaining our independence and sovereignty in 1975, the Queen has been our symbol of unity, a unifying force for our highly diversified nation of a thousand tribes. She did not become our Queen, we invited her to be our Head of State.
Author, Robert Hardman in his book, “Queen of the World” wrote; “When Chateris (Queen’s private Secretary) informed her Majesty that PNG wanted a Monarch and not just any Monarch, she was both tickled and touched…She accepted straight away”.
That was 47 years ago. She then became affectionately known as “MISSUS KWIN” AND “SINA BADA” OR BIG MUM to all Papua New Guineans.
She officially visited PNG several times, during the earlier years of her reign. In her parting words “hope to return” speech on her last visit to PNG in 1982, she spoke to the nation in Tok Pisin saying; “Mi hamamas tru lon istap wantaim yupela nau, na mi ting bai mi kam bek lo lukim yupela lo taim bihain” – In English – “I am delighted to be with you now and hope to return in the future”.
Sadly, she passed on before she could fulfil that undertaking, so it is every Papua New Guinean’s wish for our new Head of State, King Charles III to make that happen in the near future.
May the new Head of the Commonwealth, King Charles III, be comforted in the knowledge that her MAMA, Missus Kwin, was a firm believer in the power of the Commonwealth, as a family of Nations and was a huge inspiration and an insurmountable influence for global peace and humanity.
It is with great sadness and humility that I convey to the Royal family our deepest sympathies and sorrow on behalf of Papua New Guinea and other Heads of Missions of the Commonwealth.
God Bless the Commonwealth of Nations, God Bless King Charles III.
H.E. John Ma’o Kali, CMG OBE
Papua New Guinea High Commissioner to the Commonwealth of Australia.