Because the Bounty Day celebrations on Norfolk Island were held on the 9th June this year, the Queen’s Birthday function at Government House was held over for a week. But it did happen Monday last. This is an important event for those who live on Norfolk Island.
Several hundred guests attended a Garden Reception at Government House as guests of the Administrator, the Hon. Neil Pope and his wife Jen Pope.
The event was significant for several reasons.
Local Beryl Evans had been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for services to the community of Norfolk Island, and to the environment, by the Governor-General on the 9th June.
So the reception was this community’s opportunity to thank Beryl and congratulate her for the well-deserved award.
This was the last official community function at Government House for Neil and Jen.
They will be leaving Norfolk Island on June 30 at the end of their two year term to return to their home, family, and new challenges, in Victoria.
In an emotional farewell they expressed how much they had enjoyed their time here, and how much they will miss the island and its people.
And they can rest assured that while they say they will miss Norfolk Island, this community will miss them more.
For they have done so much for, and given so much of themselves to, the Norfolk Island community.
Neil’s commitment to deliver better outcomes for the people of Norfolk Island has resulted in many tens of millions of dollars injected into Norfolk Island by the Commonwealth. Without his help, ability to negotiate, and clarity of vision for the island, life here would have been far different and more difficult.
Jen’s willingness to assist community organisations on the island was nothing short of outstanding.
Their ability to work as a team, to support many social causes, and to become part of this community, while fulfilling their roles professionally, has been exemplary. Thank you both very much.
It was a fitting way to celebrate the Queen’s birthday, Beryl’s well-deserved award, and the Pope’s farewell community event.