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Constitution Day, 9 July Print E-mail
Written by ACM   
Wednesday, 09 July 2014
Constitution Day falls on 9 July each year. This is the day when Queen Victoria assented to the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act, 1900, which brought to a successful conclusion the unusually peaceful and democratic process to unite the six self governing Australian colonies.

We Australians federated under the Crown; the Crown has been with us from the settlement in 1788, and has been intimately involved on every significant occasion in the life of the nation.


...the Proclamation....

The Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act provided that it should take effect on a date to be proclaimed by The Queen. This is was done on 17 September, 1900 at Balmoral, Her Majesty declaring that she was then satisfied that the people of Western Australia had indicated in a referendum that they too wished to join the Commonwealth of Australia.

The Queen then signified that the new Australian nation should come into being on the first day of the new year and the first day of the new century.

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...swearing in...

In the first video below, you may see the swearing in of the first Governor-General, Lord Hopetown, who then proceeds to swear in the first ministry under Prime Minister Edmund Barton. (This and other videos mentioned in this column are not the newly produced ones launched on Thursday.)

This significant event took place on 1 January 1901 in a pavillion in Centennial Park Sydney. The Governor-General,and The Queen's Ministers of State for the Commonwealth, as the Constitution describes them, used the same desk on which The Queen had assented to the Act.

The second video shows scenes of the Federation parade in Sydney.

...move to Canberra...

Read more...
 
The passing of Tasmanian Governor, Peter Underwood Print E-mail
Written by Reg Watson   
Wednesday, 09 July 2014

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[The late Justice Peter Underwood AC.]

It was with shock that I learnt of the sudden death of the Tasmanian Governor, The Honourable Justice Peter Underwood AC who died at the Royal Hobart Hospital after complications following surgery removing a tumour from his kidney.

Justice Underwood was appointed to the Tasmanian Supreme Court in 1984 and was in his second term as governor which would have finished in 2016. He was 76 years of age. Although a proud Tasmanian he was actually born in Great Britain, migrating here in 1950 as 13 year old child.

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[Tasmanian Convenor, Reg Watson, with daughter Kylie at a recent reception at Government House, hosted by the late Justice Peter Underwood AC, Governor of Tasmania.]

I knew the Governor of Tasmania quite well. He was Patron of the Council of United Commonwealth Societies which ACM (Tasmania) is a member. When past President I entertained him at dinner and lunch. Recently I attended the June reception at Government House in honour of the birthday of Her Majesty, expecting to see the Governor as host, but in turn, we were entertained by the Lieutenant Governor, Justice Allan Blow as Peter Underwood was ill in hospital.

I always found the Governor attentive and respectful. He also had a good sense of humour, but I had the opinion that he would not suffer fools easy. I was interviewed by ABC Radio news this afternoon and was asked what would be his legacy. I replied that he served the Office of Governor with dignity and respect and undertook his duties very well. He was our 27th Governor and successfully followed on the heels of William (Bill) Cox, who was popular and very good. At times it can be very difficult in continuing a role that was so successfully undertaken, but Justice Underwood did so. Occasionally I would write to His Excellency through the email system regarding particular matters to which he would personally reply. On one occasion he wrote me a long hand note received in the post, which I still have in my files.

Yes, he was a good Governor, leaving his wife, Francis, four children and three step children. His family was at his side during his last moments. It will be hard to replace him. The State Government has offered the family a State funeral.

The Governor-General, Sir Peter Crosgrove, as would be expected, spoke highly of the late Governor of Tasmania.

 
Tasmanian Governor Peter Underwood dies, aged 76 Print E-mail
Written by ACM   
Tuesday, 08 July 2014

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ACM notes with regret the passing of Tasmanian Governor, Peter Underwood AC.

Mr Underwood, who was 76, died in the Royal Hobart Hospital a month after having a tumour removed from his kidney.

ACM's Tasmanian Convenor will be issuing a statement shortly.

Read more: http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/tasmanian-governor-peter-underwood-dies-aged-76-surrounded-by-family/story-fnj4f7k1-1226981191580

 
Special function to farewell NSW Governor Print E-mail
Written by ACM   
Tuesday, 01 July 2014

Our good friends at the Commonwealth Day Council of NSW have kindly extended an invitation to all members and friends of ACM, to attend a special function to farewell their Patron, Her Excellency The Honourable Dame Marie Bashir AD CVO, Governor of NSW.

The function will also celebrate the 30 year anniversary of the Commonwealth Day Council of NSW.

Details of the function are below.

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To download a PDF copy of the flyer, please click here.

 
Go and live somewhere else: call by leading republican Print E-mail
Written by ACM   
Wednesday, 25 June 2014

This was  Professor Marcia Langton's call to anyone who doesn't endorse some form of politicians' republic. She was in the republican team with Bob Carr in the BBC/ABC IQ2 debate on 24 June 2014 "The Queen should be the last Australian monarch"\
According to the latest polling, only about 42% overall and 28% of young people support Australia becoming a politicians' republic.
 
Republican debate: Bob Carr forgets Print E-mail
Written by ACM   
Wednesday, 25 June 2014
Former Premier Bob Carr seemed to experience a lapse of memory concerning a crucial matter while speaking for the republican Yes case in the BBC/ABC IQ2 debate on 24 June 2014 "The Queen should be the last Australian monarch".

He denied that he had very clearly and publicly revealed that the reason he expelled NSW Governors from Government House in 1996 was that he objected to the Crown's reserved powers.

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...record clear...


Despite Bob Carr's denial, the record is clear.

Launching the 3rd edition of EG Whitlam's book ''The truth of the matter'' in 2005, he had said that one lesson from Mr Whitlam's dismissal by the Governor-General in 1975 was the potentially corrupting role of the vice-regal office.

In a surprise admission, he then said that this was the reason he had decided the NSW governor would not live in Government House.

His speech at a book launch was reported in the press. He did not deny this at the time. Nor did he complain to the Press Council .

The issue arose after Professor Flint pointed out that David Aaronovich, an English journalist appointed by the organisers as one of the two speakers against the motion, had based the high level of support for the monarchy only on its magic and on various light and amusing news items.

But the case argued consistently by Australian constitutional monarchists frm the nineties has been about power, that is, the role of the Australian Crown as a significant check and balance over the political arm.

Professor Flint had reminded Mr Carr that he had admitted in 2005 that he had expelled the Governors because of the reserve powers. In denying that he had said this, Mr Carr lamented the fact that the Governor had returned to Government House.

 
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