I’ve personally met two State Governors, been in the presence of two others and been close to a Governor-General.
This is largely trivial, of course, but from an historical perspective it may be of interest.
Governors and Governors-General are the Queen’s representatives. How much longer we remain a constitutional monarchy remains uncertain.
In October 2006, then Western Australian Governor Ken Michael visited the Kalgoorlie Miner.
A former civil engineer and public servant, Mr Michael was interested in the heritage of the Kalgoorlie Miner building, which dates back to the 1890s.
In 2013, I attended the swearing in of my Minister at Government House in Adelaide by retired Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce.
My earliest memory of the vice-regal office is from 1977-78 (I can’t remember which year) when Governor-General Sir Zelman Cowen visited Traralgon.
I was a primary school student at St Michael’s and we were bussed to the Traralgon Showgrounds to meet him. I can’t imagine that happening today.
Sir Zelman was the successor of Sir John Kerr and some controversy surrounded the office at that time.
In 1982 I appeared in the presence of Sir Brian Murray when he was Governor of Victoria.
The Governor was attending an engagement at Yallourn and the St Paul’s College Band from Traralgon was asked to perform. I was “second clarinet” player in the school band.
It was at the time when Australia had two national anthems. If a member of the royal family or a vice-regal representative was present, God Save the Queen had to be played in addition to Advance Australia Fair.
So I played God Save the Queen on my clarinet in the presence of Sir Brian.
This week I met the Governor of Queensland, Paul de Jersey, during his visit to Bundaberg.
Coincidentally, my daughter Maggie met the Governor of Victoria this week, Linda Dessau, at an event to promote science and maths among female students.
There was no playing of God Save the Queen at either event.