MR PHILLIP O’SHEA
Sir Roderick Bignell Weir, a Life Friend, died on 17 November 2021 at Waikanae, aged ninety-four. The Society’s condolences were sent to Anna, Lady Weir, and his family. a company director, he was made a Knight Bachelor in The Queen’s Birthday Honours of 1984, for services to farming, commerce and the community.
News and Activities
The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee The seventieth anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s Accession to the Throne fell on 6 February 2022, which in New Zealand is also Waitangi Day. As this was a Sunday, a 21-Gun Salute was fired on Monday, 7 February, from Point Jerningham, Wellington, by personnel from 16th Field Regiment, Royal Regiment of New Zealand Artillery. Gun Salutes were also fired on 2 June for the anniversary of the Coronation, and on 6 June for the official New Zealand observance of The Queen’s Birthday. The Queen had been Captain-General of the RNZA since 1954.
In a media release on 6 February, the Prime Minister, The Rt Hon. Jacinda Ardern, said: As Queen of New Zealand, she has always shown a deep personal interest in the life and well-being of our nation. On behalf of all New Zealanders, I would like to wish her well for this historic year. The Prime Minister also announced that the government will donate NZ$1 million to the Trees That Count project, to assist with tree-planting programmes across the country to mark the Jubilee.
Wellington City on the evening of 2 June was the second of fifty Commonwealth capitals to mark the Jubilee by a Beacon being lit at the lookout on Mount Victoria Tangi Te Keo. Other events occurred throughout the country.
A service of Celebration for the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty was held on Friday, 3 June 2022, at the Wellington Cathedral of St Paul. The Queen had laid the foundation stone of the Cathedral on 13 January 1954, and with The Duke of Edinburgh attended services during four subsequent visits to the capital. The Administrator of the Government, The Rt Hon. Dame Helen Winkelmann, GNZM (Chief Justice), was the principal guest, as the Governor-General, The Rt Hon. Dame Cindy Kiro, and her husband, Dr Richard Davies, were attending the celebrations in London.
I had the honour and delightful pleasure of designing The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Emblem for New Zealand approved by Her Majesty. The shape of the emblem is based on the frame of the British Hallmark for platinum. The top portion of the frame reflects the shape of barge boards of a Māori meeting house or whare rūnanga. It may also allude to the body of the Gold State Coach, built in 1762 and used at Coronations and Jubilees of the Sovereigns.
The Royal Cypher is the personal emblem of The Queen. The Royal Crown (St Edward’s Crown) appears in the New Zealand Coat of Arms and represents that The Queen is Head of State and ‘Queen of New Zealand’. The poutama design represents the ‘steps of service’, in this instance the seventy years of public service by The Queen. TE HOKOTORU MĀ NGAHURU indicates seventy years, 1952-2022.
The ribbons of The Queen’s Service Order (QSO) and associated Queen’s Service Medal (QSM), instituted on Commonwealth Day 1975, are based on the poutama design. The design also appears on the reverse of The New Zealand Public Service Medal, instituted by The Queen in 2018.
Death of HM Queen Elizabeth II & Accession of King Charles III The nation awoke of Friday, 9 September, to the very sad news that Queen Elizabeth II, The Queen of New Zealand, had passed away at Balmoral Castle on 8 September 2022, aged ninety-six. Her Majesty’s life and New Zealand visits were covered extensively by our media. There was TV coverage of events throughout the UK, at Balmoral, Edinburgh, and London. The Queen’s Lying-in-State at Westminster, the State Funeral at Westminster Abbey and the Committal in St George’s Chapel at Windsor were screened live. Like Friends and many New Zealanders, I followed the television coverage of the historic and flawless majestic splendour of the ceremonies: all appropriate for a Sovereign who has served for over seventy years.
At 6pm on Friday, 9 September, a 96-Gun Salute was fired from the Wellington City waterfront by the 16th Field Regiment, RNZA.
On Sunday, 11 September, at the base of the main steps of Parliament House in the presence of the Governor-General, Prime Minister, Ministers, Judges, Military chiefs, former Governors-General and Prime Ministers, and others, it fell to me as an Officer of Arms to read the Governor-General’s Proclamation of the Accession of King Charles III as King of New Zealand. Associated with this event was a 21-Gun Salute fired by16th Field Regiment, RNZA.
A State Memorial Service for Queen Elizabeth II was held at the Wellington Cathedral of St Paul on Monday, 26 September. At this packed service in the presence of the Governor-General and Prime Minister, both just returned from the funeral in London, and former Governors-General and Prime Ministers, officers of state, and many others, I proclaimed the late Queen’s New Zealand styles and titles, which now have devolved on His Majesty King Charles III.
The Honorary Secretary, Linda Aitken, and Annette Parsons of the Friends’ Office kept in contact and continued to provide support to me, and New Zealand Friends, not only during the ongoing Covid Pandemic and associated lockdowns and restrictions, but also at the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. Their assistance is always appreciated.
I trust all Members continue to keep safe during the coming year.
Phillip O’Shea, CNZM, CVO, New Zealand Herald of Arms