Tongans attend historical Parliament House Commonwealth Day Luncheon

9 March 2020


Brisbane, AUSTRALIA: The Brisbane Tongan Community were guests of the Royal Commonwealth Society of Queensland attending a Commonwealth Day Royal Luncheon at Queensland’s historic Parliament House in Brisbane City.


Hosted by Gary Hardgrave MP, the Commonwealth Day Luncheon was attended by a varied cross-section of Queensland society, including representatives of the Brisbane Tongan Community as the local diplomatic corps and multicultural community leaders from Commonwealth nations.

Members of the management committee with Gary Hardgrave MP

The Guest of Honour was the Patron of the Royal Commonwealth Society, the Governor of Queensland, His Excellency The Honourable Paul de Jersey AC QC, who delivered a Commonwealth Day message on behalf of the Queen of Australia and the Commonwealth, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.


Brisbane Tongan Community (BTC) Cultural Co-ordinator, Mrs Siale Molitika, shared her emotions upon being part of this most regal occasion.


“To be sitting inside the Parliament House in the state known as the Queen’s Land (Queensland) is such a surreal experience and one that I will forever treasure as a Tongan,” Mrs Siale Molitika said.

BTC event co-ordinator, Mrs Toakase Layt stated, “the Commonwealth of nations symbolise a common bond that unites countries such as Australia and the Kingdom of Tonga.”


“The next generation can never forget that in 1953 Their Majesties Queen Elizabeth II and Queen Sālote Tupou III were the only two reigning queens in the Commonwealth, if not the world, at the same time,” Mrs Toakase Layt added.


Governor of Queensland delivering Commonwealth Day message from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Commonwealth Day is the annual celebration of the Commonwealth of Nations, often held on the second Monday in March. It is marked by an Anglican service in Westminster Abbey, normally attended by Queen Elizabeth II as Head of the Commonwealth along with the Commonwealth Secretary-General and Commonwealth High Commissioners in London. The Queen delivers an address to the Commonwealth, which is broadcast throughout the world.


In 2006 Queen Elizabeth II delivered her Commonwealth Day address from St. Andrew's Cathedral, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia; this formed part of the lead-up to the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.


The Kingdom of Tonga and the United Kingdom share a long and enduring bond, particularly between the Royal House of Windsor and the Royal House of Tupou.


Media Contact: Sulieni Layt via email on brisbanetongancommunity@gmail.com or mobile on +61(0) 420 639 764.


ENDS


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