The New Zealand Report 13/14

MR PHILLIP O’SHEA

Roll

The New Zealand Roll totals 43:

Life Descendants                                             8

Life Descendant (10-year membership)             1

Life Friends                                                    31

Annual Friend                                                  1

Honorary Corporate Friend                               1 (Heraldry Society of New Zealand)

Corporate Friend                                              1 (Royal Commonwealth Society, Auckland Branch)

Membership 

I record, with regret, the death of two members. Mrs Pamela Kreamer, of Auckland, died in October 2013. She worked in the Chapel Shop before retiring to New Zealand. Then Mr Peter G. Hyams, of Cambridge, died on 28 April 2014 at Hamilton, aged 90. Mr Hyams was the son-in-law of the late Rt. Hon. Sir Keith Holyoake, KG, GCMG, CH, QSO (1904-1983). His wife, Lynley, died in 2009.

The New Zealand membership remains small. The Annual Review is often the only contact Friends have with the Society, and several have mentioned to me that they look forward to receiving and reading it.

HRH The Duke of Cambridge, KG, and Phillip O’Shea, CVO,

Government House, Wellington, 10 April 2014

News and Activities  

Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, accompanied by their son Prince George of Cambridge, made an official visit to New Zealand from 7 to 16 April 2014. They were enthusiastically welcomed everywhere they went, which I am aware was widely reported by the British print and television media. The visit was marked by the issue of a pair of commemorative postage stamps and a limited edition coin, all featuring the Duke, Duchess and Prince George. I had the delightful pleasure of attending the State Reception in honour of Their Royal Highnesses at Government House on 10 April.

Shortly before the Reception, the Duke, on behalf of the Queen, invested me with the insignia of a  Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO) to which Her Majesty had appointed me in the New Year Honours 2014, announced on 31 December 2013. It was a memorable and happy occasion.

Jenny Officer, a Life Descendant, was pleased to attend the Garter Day service on 16 June.

I thank Colonel David Steele, his Secretariat, and the Friends’ Committee for their continued interest in and support for the New Zealand membership.

The Garter in New Zealand – historical note 

The Governor-General in his speech of welcome to The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the State Reception at Government House on 10 April mentioned that the month was the 145th anniversary of the first Royal Visit to the then Colony of New Zealand. Queen Victoria’s second son, Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, KG, later Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (1844-1900), was captain of HMS Galatea. In the course of a world tour, he made three visits to New Zealand, 11 April to 1 June 1869, 27 August to 3 September 1870, and 8 December to 16 January 1971. On 11 April 1869 he arrived at Wellington, where he remained until 3 May. On 16 April Sir George Ferguson Bowen, GCMG, the Governor of New Zealand from 1868 to 1873, hosted a dinner in the Duke’s honour at Government House. At this event Nicholas Chevalier (1872-1902), the artist accompanying the Duke, produced a pen-and-ink sketch, on the back of the dinner menu, of the Duke in naval uniform. This sketch would appear to be the first depiction of the Garter star and sash being worn in New Zealand. The Duke had been appointed KG on 10 April 1863. At the time of the visit the Duke was also a KT (1865) and in the ocurse of his world tour he was made a GCMG (2 July 1869) and GCSI (7 February 1870). The Duke may also have been the first Privy Counsellor (appointed 1866) to visit New Zealand.

Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, KG, at Government House, Wellington, 16 April 1869.  Pen and ink sketch (12.5×8.4cm) by Nicholas Chevalier. Reproduced by courtesy of Government House, Wellington.

The next occasion the Garter star, sash and Lesser George were worn in this country was during the 1901 visit of the Duke and Duchess of  Cornwall and York (later King George V and Queen Mary) from 11 to 27 june 1901. The Duke, appointed KG in 1884, on most occasions when in  uniform, however, wore the star together with star, sash and badge of a GCMG.

Garter insignia were worn during the subsequent Royal visits of Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII and finally Duke of  Windsor) in  1920, the Duke and duchess of York (later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth) in 1927, and Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester in 1934-35. It  was not until 1954, however, that the Garter Collar with the George appended was worn for the first time in New Zealand, by his Royal Highness  The Duke of Edinburgh, at the State opening of the New Zealand Parliament by Her Majesty The Queen on 12  January 1954; the first visit by a  reigning sovereign.

Sources: Melvin N.Day, Nicholas Chevalier: Artist, His Life and Work, Millwood Press, Wellington, 1981. Erin Griffey, Legacy: The Norrie collection and other portraits from Government House, New Zealand Portrait Gallery, Wellington, 2009.

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The Queen's Free Chapel. The Chapel of the Most Honourable and Noble Order of the Garter. The Chapel of the College of St George.