Fond farewell to Elizabeth II

THE Derwent Valley, Central Highlands and Brighton municipalities will join the rest of Australia in marking the death of Queen Elizabeth with a public holiday on Thursday next week.

As the world mourns the death of the longest serving and much loved monarch, King Charles III has now ascended to the throne. Flags will be flown at half-mast for the foreseeable future. Derwent Valley Mayor Michelle Dracoulis was joined by Deputy Jessica Cosgrove last Thursday in laying wreath to mark the occasion at the Jubilee Monument in Arthur Square. Queen Elizabeth died at Balmoral last Thursday. She was 96 years old.

“Today we have lost a great woman and a great leader,’’ Mrs Dracoulis said. “Thank you to DVC gardener Sandra for creating our beautiful floral arrangement. “As a woman who represents my own community, I thank you for a lifetime of service to your people. You were a world leader of unsurpassed grace and dignity and you will be missed.’’

King Charles said the death of the Queen was “a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family. We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved Mother. I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world. During this period of mourning and change, my family and I will be comforted and sustained by our knowledge of the respect and deep affection in which The Queen was so widely held.’’

Premier Jeremy Rockliff said the Queen had led a remarkable life of public service across seven decades. “She was the longest-reigning British monarch, Australian sovereign and leader of the Commonwealth of Nations,’’ Mr Rockliff said. “In particular, Her Majesty was a friend to Tasmania and visited our shores on seven occasions, and I know Her Majesty had a very genuine interest in our people and our wonderful state. “We all appreciated her warmth and kindness. “Her Majesty was the very personification of selfless service and devotion to duty, and at this time of sadness, I know all Tasmanians will join with me in pausing to reflect on her remarkable life.’’

Labor Leader Rebecca White said the Queen’s passing was incredibly sad. “She will be mourned by people across the world as we begin a new day without her in it,’’ Ms White said. “Something many of us have never done in our lifetime. “Her dedication to service, her grace, her care for others and her love of animals always shone through as remarkable qualities which made her both an impressive woman and Monarch.’’

A Condolence Book has been opened at Government House and Council Chambers and those wishing to send a message are invited to visit.