It is with the greatest sadness that I heard of the passing of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. This is indeed the end of an Era, an Era that will surely be known as the Second Elizabethan Era.
Her Majesty was and is a towering figure in the history of Great Britain, indeed in the history of the world.
She presided over a tumultuous and quickly evolving period of history, and she did so with grace and dignity.
Her strength and the esteem in which she was held by the world is unequalled.
This was never so clear as in the way she presided over the dissolution of the British Empire.
I can think of no greater acclamation, no greater tribute to any monarch than the fact that essentially the entire former colonial empire of England, of Great Britain, voluntarily – and even eagerly – chose to remain tied to the former colonial power through the Commonwealth of Nations.
I give Her Majesty full credit for that achievement, an achievement never equaled in the history of nations, the British Commonwealth above all is the child of Her Majesty.
Having had the honour of private meetings with Her Majesty twice at Buckingham Palace, I also remember well the visit of Her Majesty to Papua New Guinea in 1974 to commemorate the granting of Self-Government to our country, and again in 1977 to celebrate her Silver Jubilee.
I would later, in 1981, become a member of Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council, a privilege I consider to be the greatest of my life.
I cant to convey the profound sadness of myself, my family and all the people of New Ireland at this terrible loss.
But at the same time I want to thank the House of Windsor for the remarkable gift we were given in the form of the reign of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.
She was a Queen, a Monarch, who will never be equaled