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Falkland Islands Government Annual Reception: A historic year for the people of the Islands

June 12th, London: The Falkland Islands Government this evening held its Annual Reception at London’s Lincoln’s Inn. Guests this year included Peers, MPs, former Governors and Commanders of British Forces, visiting Islanders, Falkland Islands students, veterans, FCO and MoD personnel and members of UK-based Falkland Islands groups.

In a keynote speech to guests (full text available here), Falkland Islands Government Legislative Assembly member, the Hon. Dick Sawle, highlighted the success of this year’s incontrovertible referendum result. The outcome saw 99.8 % of the electorate vote in favour of retaining the Islands’ current political status. He also remarked that the result provided cast iron proof that Islanders wished to remain British and was an endorsement of “a relationship that is not based on colonial principles, but one based on mutual respect and forward thinking democratic ideals.”

Hon. Dick Sawle MLA also took time to mark the passing this year of two true friends of the Falkland Islands in Lady Thatcher and former Governor, Sir Rex Hunt.

“Both Lady Thatcher and Sir Rex were heroes of ours and will never be forgotten. Lady Thatcher’s tenacity, strength and clarity of purpose saved us from becoming an expelled population with a country drained of wealth, people and hope.”

A message from Her Majesty the Queen was also read out to guests, which was followed by the Loyal Toast. The Central Band of the Royal Air Force then Beat the Retreat.