During the ceremony Minister Joel Morgan responsible for Foreign Affairs and Transport and HC Röhsler raised a toast on behalf of leaders, government and people of both countries.
Great Britain’s longest-reigning monarch celebrated her 90th birthday earlier this month after more than six decades on the throne. She is also the head of the Commonwealth of which Seychelles is a member.
Distinguished guests like ministers in the Seychelles government, the Seychelles judiciary, diplomatic corps and other high officials, attended the gathering.
Highlighting the legacy and achievements of the Queen’s reign, HC Röhsler said the Queen played a leading role in building a unique family of nations that takes every continent, all the main religions and nearly a third of the world’s population.
She also mentioned Her Majesty’s activities during her sixty-year reign which included a visit to Seychelles in 1972.
Hc Röhsler also talked on the Queen’s personal involvement with Seychellois citizens notably former President James Mancham and now Angelique Pouponneau, a lawyer and youth activist who will soon meet Her Majesty at Buckingham Palace together with other youths from other Commonwealth countries. Angelique is the latest Seychellois to benefit from the Queen’s Young Leader’s Programme.
Among other topics of cooperation and engagements being offered by the UK to the Seychelles, Ms Röhsler also talked on the Blue economy but cautioned for the concept to survive the Indian Ocean needs to be transformed from an area of troubled waters to an ocean of opportunity.
“This relationship between Seychelles and the UK has become one that strengthens and defines both of our countries,” said Ms Röhsler citing common examples like Premier League football shirts that are worn with pride by Seychellois fans and British university education as the foundation of many.
In his address for the occasion, Minister Morgan said Seychelles and Great Britain have come together to celebrate and commemorate Her Majesty’s 90 years of a life filled with numerous accomplishments, successes and great contributions as Queen of Great Britain and the Commonwealth of Nations, to her country as well as to the World over.
“I am sure that we all share a deep and profound gratitude for Her Majesty’s life and reign, while leading her country with much devotion, grace, strength, passion, dedication and much faith for the future, notably even through the most challenging circumstances such as war and hardship,” said the minister.
He cited Her Majesty’s dutiful commitment and royal dignity in her leadership as one of the reasons why the UK has managed to develop exceptional and amicable ties with many countries around the world (including Seychelles) which has indeed contributed to the swift development of this great ocean state and its significant presence in the international arena on various pivotal world issues.
“The historical bonds that unite us continue to be based on the principles of equality, democracy, security and prosperity for all, as we remain committed to the ideals of the Commonwealth, and aim to see Seychelles continue to progress on these platforms while ensuring ownership of our own progress,” he said.
Regarding the tradition and friendship between Seychelles and Great Britain, Minister Morgan referred to British assistance in various fields like the visit in 2009 of Princess Anne, whose participation at the University of Seychelles’ inauguration with President James Michel gave a special charm to the event and the holiday visits of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to our islands no doubt rejuvenated the historic ties that have long existed between our peoples.
Other areas of relationship and cooperation between the two countries are in the Blue economy initiative, an opportunity that Seychelles is seizing in order to maximise on the potential of our maritime resources for sustainable development and investment; the Chevening Scholarship programme; various other forms of higher education programmes for human capacity building, such as training for military professionals; maritime security projects, with the development of the RAPPIC Centre, now REFLECS 3 and the active participation of the UK during the recent meeting of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia, which he said are highly appreciated
He expressed wishes of continued collaboration for the country to achieve more so the country can continue on its path for sustainable development and to achieve more for small island developing states like Seychelles in the international arena.
The event ended with a cutting of cake by Minister Adam and HC Röhsler.
A book entitled ‘Aride Island – Tread Lightly’ was also launched at the British high commission at the same time as the celebration of the birthday of Queen Elizabeth II. It has been released by the Island Conservation Society to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the protection of Aride Island as a Special Reserve (see separate story on our Environment page).
Source : Seychelles NATION