Following on from last week’s dinner for the 11 Defence personnel who have acted as her Aides deCamp, yesterday evening Dame Patsy thanked New Zealand Defence personnel for their support during her term of office. Army, Air Force and Navy personnel have provided Guards of Honour, cultural parties and bands for ceremonial occasions, including State Welcomes.
Memorable engagements with Defence have included international commemorations, opportunities to meet veterans and current personnel, the naming ceremony for HMNZS ‘Aotearoa’ in South Korea and a subsequent voyage on the ship in New Zealand waters. Other highlights include visiting Defence bases, attending graduation ceremonies – and taking a 10-hour trip on a Hercules to Vanuatu. At the dinner, Chief of Defence AM Kevin Short presented Dame Patsy with the New Zealand Armed Forces award.
To mark the occasion, Government House was lit up with a fireworks display projected on the outside of the building.