Hedland representatives ready to meet the Queen
Suits have been dry cleaned and frocks ironed as Port Hedland’s specially selected representatives prepare to attend Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s State Reception as part of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) being held in Perth this week.
Two of these excited people include Town of Port Hedland Mayor Kelly Howlett and recent past president of the WA Council of State Schools Organisations Rob Fry who will fly to Perth with exquisite invitations in hand and respective partners Peter Pope and Helen Fry as guests.
Of receiving her invitation Cr Howlett said she was secretly hoping that she would get one, but hers came a bit late so she was excited when it did arrive.
The protocol document accompanying the royal invitation is lengthier and more detailed than the invite. However, both Mr Fry and Cr Howlett have some royal protocol experience.
“Recently we had the Governor General Quentin Bryce attend and there was the same kind of protocol for her visit, so I’m sure we’ll be ok,” she said.
Mr Fry attended a reception for Prince Charles in Perth about six years ago.
“Men normally just nod their head, but not like Mr Bean,’ he added with a laugh.
1500 people have been invited so, in Cr Howlett’s words, “Just being there will be quite special.”
If Cr Howlett met the Queen, she would make Her Majesty aware of the Pilbara region and Port Hedland, in particular noting that this is where the majority of Australia’s wealth is coming from.
“Maybe I’d be cheeky and slip in an invitation for our waterpark opening in mid-December,” Cr Howlett said.
Mr Fry would bring her attention to the importance of our children’s education and public school funding.
Regardless of personal introductions, he said, “it will be quite nice to see her close up and obviously His Royal Highness the Duke as well.”
Cr Howlett is working on “something cool, something reflective of the Pilbara” to wear, noting that in her leadership role, she will be attending other government events as well.
Cr Howlett is also attending CHOGM’s People’s Forum and said, “I’m looking forward to hearing the amazing stories and being part of a very exciting and different program.
“It’s certainly a huge occasion for Western Australia and I’m glad to be a part of it,” she said.
Make sure you check out what everyone else would say if they had the chance to meet the Queen, in this edition of the Echo!