NEW GOVERNOR HISTORIC FIRST FOR FALKLANDS
By J Brock (FINN)
H E the Governor Mrs Alison Blake was sworn in as Governor of the Falkland Islands and Commissioner of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands on Saturday 23 July 2022 at the Court and Council Chamber of Stanley City Hall.
H E the Governor’s Remarks:
(Transcribed by J Brock (FINN) from a Falklands Radio broadcast at 1215hrs on Monday, 25 July 2022)
“It’s a huge privilege and a great pleasure to be sworn in as your new Governor. I am also Honoured to be appointed Her Majesty’s Commissioner for South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.
Despite arriving to a Winter Wonderland yesterday, Pete and I have been touched by the warm welcome we received since setting foot here.
I firstly visited Stanley in 1993 as a junior official in the UK’s Ministry of Defence. And I never dreamt then that nearly 30 years later I would be standing here as your Governor; and the first woman to hold this appointment.
The Governor’s Uniform that I wear today is no doubt smaller but otherwise identical to that of my male predecessors. That may speak volumes about the complexity of the ceremonial dress and tailoring but I take it as a sign that here in the Falkland Islands skill and capability and not gender determines who does what, including in public life; and that this is a place where everyone’s empowered, encouraged, and supported to be the best they can be.
The duties and responsibilities of the Governor’s role are various and heavy ones. And I follow many eminent, energetic, and committed predecessors, including most recently Nigel Phillips.
As all previous Governors have done, I will uphold the Constitution, assure good governance, ensure internal security and work with the Commander British Forces to ensure the defence of your country.
My role here is a partnership discharging my duties to you and the Crown, guided by (keeping) support. I will defend and promote the right of self-determination for the people of the Falkland Islands, including as your advocate internationally, supporting you in doing that and with the UK Government.
Building on your proud democratic traditions, I will defend and uphold the democratic institutions of the Falkland Islands as expressed in the Constitution.
The people of these Islands rightly expect good public services and the highest standards of public life, and I commit to working in partnership with your democratically elected representatives and the public service to assure the (governance) the support that the Government of the Falkland Islands their deliberate plans for economic and social development of these Islands and will serve the people of the Falkland Islands working for the well-being, prosperity and security of all the inhabitants of these Islands, protect this most extraordinary and beautiful rich natural environment, and I would hope to demonstrate to the world the social and economic health and vibrancy, the cultural and sporting richness the thriving and democratic self-governing society.
There will be difficult issues we will have to face – more difficult decisions ahead. And there are those who do not want you – us to succeed. But I can assure you of my commitment and resolve and that of the UK Government.
Thank you again for your warm welcome and I am looking forward to getting to know you all better, to listening and learning to work together in partnership and also to seeing as much as I can of these beautiful Islands while we strive for peaceful, secure, and prosperous future for the people of the Falkland Islands.
God save Her Majesty the Queen.
God save the people of the Falkland Islands.”
Transcriber’s note: As there were anomies in the tape, words in parenthesis are the best fit.
The first female Governor of the Falkland Islands attended a parade on victory Green and was Given a 17-gun salute by Members of the Falkland Islands Defence Force (FIDF). She also inspected members of the parade consisting of Members of the FIDF.