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Murraylands locals, leaders reflect on the life of Queen Elizabeth II
The Queen never visited Murray Bridge, but that didn't stop her from touching the lives and hearts of locals.
Although the never visited the region, the late Queen Elizabeth II has left many Murraylands locals with fond memories of her reign.
As flags were lowered to half mast following the Queen’s death on Friday, South Australian time, Murray Bridge News asked readers to share their memories.
Rebecca Roberts recalled meeting the Queen in Adelaide in 2002: “she was simply beautiful”.
Neil Venus reminisced about receiving his Duke of Edinburgh Award from Prince Phillip and Her Majesty, who was in the garden with her corgis, at St James’ Palace – a “very memorable day”.
Chris and Ken Melville said they had seen the Queen twice: once in a combined schools choir on the River Torrens, and once on Tapleys Hill Road in Adelaide.
“We were waved off the road by a motorcycle cop; a couple cars went past, then this big black car came and Her Majesty and Prince Phillip were in it,” they said.
“We received our own private wave and smile – we were the only ones in that particular spot.
“RIP to our beloved Queen Elizabeth the second.”
Local politicians have also shared their condolences for the Queen.
Federal MP Tony Pasin hoped her “extraordinary example” of lifelong commitment to duty would continue to inspire everyone.
“Queen Elizabeth led through immense global change and did it all with grace and dignity, remaining utterly devoted to God, her country and her subjects through every event,” he said.
State MP Nick McBride said the Queen’s death had been “a sad day for the state, the nation, and the world”.
“Throughout her more than seven-decade reign, Queen Elizabeth upheld the vow she once made as a young princess … to devote her whole life to service,” he said.
State MP Adrian Pederick said he admired how the Queen had been a constant in people’s lives.
“The stability she brought and the grace and humility in which she carried out her duties will long be remembered,” he said.
More cautious with his words was Ngarrindjeri and Kaurna elder Major Sumner, who gave a welcome to country at a proclamation ceremony held at Parliament House in Adelaide on Sunday.
“I just hope (King Charles III) visits our lands, like his mother did,” he said.
“If he don’t, then we have to go and visit him, just to let them know who we are.”
He later clarified his thoughts on his Facebook page: “we move forward together, but we acknowledge that sovereignty was never ceded”.
Day of mourning will be a one-off public holiday
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced on Sunday that a public holiday would be declared next Thursday, September 22, for a National Day of Mourning.
South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas acknowledged that the announcement would cause some disruption “given the unavoidably late notice”, but that the state government would minimise the holiday’s impact on people’s lives.
Public condolence books are available to sign at Mr Pasin’s office at the Murray Bridge Green shopping centre, and at Mr Pederick’s office on Mannum Road.
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