Ed and Lorraine arrived in Gibraltar aboard RFA MOUNTS BAY on Tuesday 19th January 2016.
I think this has been the longest stint for which a modern Governor has been appointed from the start of his appointment.
Ed came to us following a long and distinguished career in the Royal Marines, having retired as Commandant General in 2014.
His military career had included deployments in the Falkland Islands, Cyprus, Bosnia and Afghanistan.
On his second deployment in Afghanistan, he was Commander of Task Force Helmand.
Shortly after that last tour in Afghanistan, he was advanced in the Order of the British Empire to Commander, “in recognition of gallant and distinguished services”.
And just before coming to us he was deployed into NATO in Turkey. Real service. Real action. Real life.
Some might say the best preparation for a job as apparently straight forward as the post in the Convent. During all that time, he wore a cap badge with the word “Gibraltar” on it that commemorates the capture and defence of this famous Rock of ours.
Little did he know during his illustrious career that he would end up being the Governor of this magnificent piece of British real estate that his predecessors helped to capture in 1704. Ed and Lorraine took to Gibraltar immediately upon arrival and had no trouble in settling into our close community.
The sentiments were reciprocated as the people of Gibraltar very soon became fond of them and we took them as ours. I was very pleased indeed that the Governor had a working spouse.
It is a good thing for the Convent to represent the reality of Britain and Gibraltar today.
It has been an easy ride for me to have Ed as my colleague and neighbour from across the street.
I have told the Parliament already that Ed didn’t really turn native, I think he came native.
This was not a Governor who needed to be BROKEN IN – as one of my predecessors used to refer to the process of receiving a new governor!
He came ready to do a job in partnership with me.
It helped perhaps that we had taken the time to meet before his arrival in Gibraltar.
What happened next has played out, in great measure, in public.
He has been a stalwart support of Gibraltar in the way in which he has discharged the difficult role of Governor under the 2006 Constitution.
I have already told the Parliament also that I consider Ed to be an important part of Team Gibraltar.
To me, he has been a personal support, friend and brother.
And in particular he has done the job of representing Her Majesty very well indeed and very proudly too.
Whether in the community or elsewhere, Ed’s dedication to service, to Her Majesty and to Gibraltar has been evident.
One of the many ways in which he has discharged his representation of Her Majesty has been on the parade ground.
Not least in the Ceremony of the Keys.
Since the capture of the Rock in 1704, the Keys of Gibraltar have symbolised the possession of the Fortress by Great Britain.
The Keys have come to be regarded as the seals of office of the Governor and as such are handed over from one Governor to the next.
So when thinking of how we might all as a Community thank Ed and Lorraine for their excellent work for Gibraltar to date, the Government decided it should be in a manner somehow related to those Keys.
And so, tonight, on behalf of all of the people of Gibraltar, I am honoured to present you, my dear friend, with this gift to remember the hours on Parade.
A mini replica in Sterling Silver of the Iron Keys to the Fortress that you have so proudly held on parade at successive Ceremonies of the Keys.
And what better way to say goodbye than simply to reflect that – DESPITE THE MANY CHALLENGES WE HAVE FACED IN YOU TIME – as you leave we can all hear that ALLS WELL.
THE FORTRESS IS SECURE.
Thank you both.
You will be sadly missed – but no doubt continuing to be a part of our lives in different ways.