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SIR PATRICK DUFF NEW HIGH COMMISSIONER P.A. WELLINGTON, this day. Replying to the welcome extended to him by the Mayor, Mr. Appleton, and councillors at a civic reception in Wellington to-day, the new High Commissioner for the United Kingdom in New Zealand, Sir Patrick Duff, said that England, indeed, had flying colours. As he and Lady Duff left for the Dominion it happened that on VE day they left London to visit General Kippenberger and the reception centre near Dover for repatriated New Zealanders. As they left London, blitzed, burned and broken villages all bristled with little flags, he said. Country villages were decked with flags" and St. George's Cross was flying on the breeze from the spires of hundreds of town and village churches. "Some of these churches are pretty old," said Sir Patrick. "I thought how the same church had flown that same flag for Crecy or Agincourt, for the Spanish Armada, for Blenheim. Ramillies, Trafalgar and Waterloo, and for many occasions of victory. I thought, too, of how N-3W Zealand's sons had stood beside us in Britain in the darkest days of all, and how they had flown, sailed and fought on so many battlefields beside us." Sir Patrick added that Lady Duff and he were glad to be in the Dominions. As they anchored in the harbour a day or two ago and watched under the stars the myriad twinkling lights of Wellington and saw the dawn break, one of the Canadian brides on board said to him: "Oh my. I didn't expect it to be as lovely as all this." Fine New Citizens Sir Patrick Duff said he had agreed with her. Talking of brides, he added, they came in company with a shipload of young mothers and brides and brides-to-be, whom New Zealand boys had brought home with them. Some were British, some Canadian, and some American. "But I will say that I think your boys have exercised good judgment," he continued. "You have got a nice lot of new citizens, and I hope New Zealand will lose no time in taking them to her heart. "We feel that we arc exchanging one home for another," said Sir Patrick in acknowledging the welcome extended to him and Lady Duff. We both look forward to the sights and sounds of New Zealand, to its visions of mountains and sea and to its green and lovely land. We shall give a frolic welcome to its sunshine and even to the rains and winds, pi which, some little bird has whispered to me, Wellington is not entirely free." Sir Patrick said he could not feel a qtrancer to New Zealand. In tne fast wafhe belonged to the 29th Division of the British Army and fought at Gallipoli from the landing to the evacuation, and there, as in France later he saw something of New Zealanders. And only a few months ago he had the privilege of paying a visit to the Division in Italy and of renewing his acquaintanceship wim the fighting quality and compionship of the.Dominion's trocps. Pride In Homeland "I confess that full of pride in my great and dear country which, you as well as I, call Home, continued Sir Patrick. "A nation, you know is not a plant or an animal which is affected by age or years or centuries as such. It does not, like an individual human being, acquire symptoms like failing sight or hearing or high blood pressure as years go on. Centuries themselves do not make nations physically older. If they did New Zealand herself as a centenarian might be accused of getting old. England in these days has demonstrated again her mettle and her eternal youth. For all that— even her civilians, women and child- ! ren have all these years been in the forefront of the fight—she certainly will never relax her war effort till Japan, which has wrought such injuries to her and which hangs like a sword of Damocles suspended in the Pacific over your neck, is as prostrate as Germany. "I.n the geography of the map the distance between London and Wellington is very great, the geography of the heart it is so small that it cannot be measured at all. 'And so we come from our island, which is yours as well, to your island. We come charged with greetings to you from Home and we hardly feel, in this happy and gallant and friendly land, that we come like strangers at all. We thank you again for the welcome which you have given us this day. It makes us presume to hope that from henceforward you too will regard us as one of yourselves."

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Bibliographic details

N.Z. WELCOME, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 181, 2 August 1945

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N.Z. WELCOME Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 181, 2 August 1945