02 August 2006

The Governor-General, on receiving the Queen's Service Order (again)

'The opportunity to be Governor-General of this country carries many responsibilities, but it is also one of great privilege. I thank the people of New Zealand for their willingness to allow me to hold this role.

Prime Minister, on behalf also of Peter [Cartwright], may I thank the government for its advice to Her Majesty, which has resulted in the signal honour of each of us being made a Companion of the Queen's Service Order. I must admit that I am relieved to receive this honour. During my first days at Government House, I found a QSO on my dressing table and, as I did not recall receiving it at any point, asked where it had come from. I was told 'I think you will find, your Excellency, that this is yours.' Well I never wore it, as I was terrified that someone would say 'where did you get that from?' These fears were justified when, just a few days ago, the Head of the Honours Secretariat came to the House and removed it. I felt vaguely as if I was being cashiered, but no doubt some day the mystery will be explained'

- Dame Silvia Cartwright, Governor-General of New Zealand, at her State Farewell, 2 August 2006

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