The passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has been greeted with great sadness across the world. In the days that have followed all forms of media have enabled a sense of reflection by highlighting periods of the Queen’s life and reign that have borne witness to significant historical events.
Queen Elizabeth witnessed watershed moments in history: Women given the same rights to vote as men; King Edward’s ascension and abdication; the Second World War; Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher (just to name a few); the discovery of DNA; India’s independence from Britain; the Cuban Missile Crisis; the Beatles; man walking on the moon; The Whitlam Dismissal; email; Chernobyl; the demolition of the Berlin Wall; the first clone; Hong Kong being returned to China; September 11 and the rise of modern terrorism; the beginning and end of the Concorde; IVF; the IRA; the entry and exit of Britain to the EU; Apartheid; numerous armed conflicts (some involving her children and grandchildren); fire at Windsor Castle; COVID-19; and all interspersed with all manner of family drama.
My favourite viewing in the days after her death has been the more intimate reflections of the Queen as a daughter and mother. Priceless film from her childhood showing a rather merry Queen mother and a carefree young Elizabeth serves to highlight a fun and loving family.
These times of reflection have been a common theme lately. Albeit on a much smaller scale I also enjoyed the chance to reflect with a few long-term clients during a lunch hosted by Jubilee President Sabina Janstrom. The food was lovely but the company even better. I was delighted to hear stories covering a wide range of subjects – travels, tastes and preferences as well as life in Brisbane and abroad then and now. We shared stories about raising families, marriages, and of their experiences as grandparents. A couple of our guests promised to join Jubilee on an activity or two as we brain-stormed how to solve their mobility challenges together to make this a reality.
Mostly though I was very proud and touched to hear of the relationship and comfort provided by Jubilee support workers to our guests and the over-and-above acts of kindness our staff demonstrate regularly in their work with clients.
The passing of the Queen rightly prompts reflection, and these reflections connect us to time, people and places in our own lives. My reflection at this time is of the enormous privilege being part of this Jubilee family.
Best wishes, Darren Sonter, Executive Director