The London 2012 Olympics Close With A Party!

Closing Ceremony London 2012

Fireworks light up the Olympic Stadium and close out the London 2012 Olympic Games

17 days of London 2012 Olympic events closed yesterday with a celebration of British pop music through the past several decades. From the Spice Girls to Annie Lennox to a video tribute to John Lennon, a wide variety of music genres and legends were honoured during the celebration. The pageantry and showmanship were undeniably British and will surely not be forgotten. Looking back we tried to come up with some of our favourite memories of these Olympics and after some debate here are just a few of the moments we came up with:

Chad Le Clos of South Africa beating Michael Phelps in the 200m Butterfly by .05 seconds!

Kirani James taking home Grenada’s first EVER Olympic medal – which just happened to be gold in the Men’s 400m.

Stephen Kiprotich winning the Men’s Marathon and Uganda’s first gold medal since 1972!

The Canadian Women’s Football Team coming back from a heartbreaking defeat in the semi-finals to win a historic bronze medal.

Indian wrestler Sushil Kumar became the first Indian athlete to take home a medal in successive games!

Sally Pearson reacted fantastically to winning gold for Australia in the women’s Hurdles and her celebration was a defining image of the Games.

These are just a few of the moments we loved from London 2012 but there were so many more to choose from!

While we’re disappointed that the Games are over, we are definitely looking forward to the Paralympic Games in a few weeks time! In the meantime, we would love to see your best memories from London 2012! What events had you on the edge of your seat? Did any winners surprise you? Tell us about your favourite Olympic memories on the Jubilee Time Capsule!

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It’s the Summer of Sport!

This summer is turning out to be the ‘Summer of Sport’ with major sporting events taking place all over the world in all different sports. We at the JTC are currently going sports-mad and can’t get enough! With Euro 2012,Wimbledon, ICC World Twenty20, ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup, Formula One, Rugby Summer Tours and last but by no means least – the London 2012 Olympics – we won’t have to do without sport for a single day this summer.

The Jubilee Time Capsule has an entire Sports Gallery full of fantastic sports-related memories from primary school football matches to World Cups. These are some of our favourite sports entries in celebration of the Summer of Sport:

South Africa World Cup 2010

The World Cup 2010 in South Africa was a landmark event for both South Africa and the whole African continent.

While we here in England haven’t experienced the joy of hosting or winning a World Cup since 1966 (sore subject), one of the Commonwealth family hosted it just 2 years ago. The 2010 World Cup in South Africa was a landmark sporting event as it was the first World Cup hosted by an African nation. Lungile Ntuli from South Africa submitted her entry about the legacy of the World Cup inSouth Africa and its symbolic significance.

1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne Australia

The 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne were Australia’s first time hosting and the first during Queen Elizabeth II’s reign!

This summer marks one of the most anticipated sporting events – the London 2012 Olympics. The first Olympic Games during Queen Elizabeth II’s reign were held in Melbourne in 1956. Alison Vile has submitted her memories of moving to Melbourne in 1956 and attending Olympic events as part of a school group (We bet a lot of schoolchildren wish that were the case this summer!)

India Win the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup!

India defeat Sri Lanka in the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup Final!

We would venture a guess that cricket is the most competitive Commonwealth sport. This summer will see the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup in Australia. We have loads of great entries about exciting cricket matches and we particularly like this entry from Ananya Sivaraman about their home nation, India, taking home top honours at the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup!

The Vanuatu Beach Volleyball Team aim for the London 2012 Olympics

The Vanuatu Beach Volleyball Team aim to qualify for the London 2012 Olympics.

While we have some fantastic entries from people who watch their favourite athletes compete – we also have fantastic entries from the athletes themselves! We have received inspiring entries from Parathletes Oscar Pistorious and Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson as well as Olympic hopefuls – the Vanuatu Beach Volleyball Team!

Sports are one of the best ways citizens of the Commonwealth can come together, whether it’s watching a match, supporting the same team or actually playing sports together – sports are important in every Commonwealth nation. For our Summer of Sport, we would love to see all of YOUR sports memories on the Jubilee Time Capsule!

Celebrating the Diamond Jubilee in the Jubilee Time Capsule!

After a busy (and wet) Diamond Jubilee Weekend – we’ve rounded up some of the best JTC entries about the Jubilee!

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Offwell Primary School in East Devon, England celebrated with a Balloon Launch!

Offwell Church of England Primary School in East Devon, England kicked off the Jubilee Weekend with a Grand Jubilee Balloon Launch! Each balloon had a special message for HM The Queen attached and copies of the messages were posted to Her Majesty just in case some of the balloons didn’t reach Buckingham Palace.

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Nigeria celebrated the Jubilee with a Big Lunch and a Jubilee Dance

Schools and communities all over the Commonwealth hosted Big Lunches to bring people together to celebrate the Jubilee. Nigeria hosted a Big Lunch that included a Big Jubilee Lunch Dance! They also had an impressive spread of food and drink to keep up their energy for all the dancing!

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Jane Cross watched the River Pageant from the Houses of Parliament

The main event Sunday – after lunch – was the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant where, in true British fashion, it rained for the whole day… Jane Cross watched the River Pageant from a room in the Houses of Parliament, where she captured some really great photos, which you can see here.

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Riley Kernaghan watched the Pageant in the middle of the night in Australia

You didn’t have to be in London to enjoy the River Pageant, however, and Riley Kernaghan watched in the middle of the night from Australia! It appears the importance of bunting to a great celebration is not lost on the Commonwealth…

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Lousia Decker waited for 4 hours to capture this image of the Royal Family!

The weekend wrapped up with a Royal Procession through the streets of London to Buckingham Palace where the Royal Family made a balcony appearance and The Queen was honoured by a flyover by aircraft of the last 60 years. Lousia Cocksedge waited for 4 hours to see the Royal Family in their carriages and was not disappointed! Check out her great photos from the grand finale of the Jubilee Weekend!

If you haven’t uploaded your Jubilee memories yet you can do so here. Due to popular demand – we’ve extended the closing date of the Jubilee Time Capsule to 30 September, 2012 so there is plenty of time left to share your memories!

High Commissioner for Australia shares his memories with the JTC

High Commissioner for Australia in the UK, HE John Dauth

The High Commissioner for Australia in the United Kingdom, HE Mr John Dauth, recently found time to record a short entry for the Jubilee Time Capsule.

In his entry the High Commissioner recalls the first time he encountered The Queen as a seven-year old boy. It was 1954 and The Queen was undertaking Her first visit to Australia .  The High Commissioner’s parents took him to the Newcastle Sports Ground in New South Wales where they saw The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh drive by.

His Excellency explains that he wasn’t expecting to encounter The Queen again, but that surprisingly Her Majesty turned out to be a “marvellous thread” throughout his professional career. 

From taking up the position as one of The Queen’s Press Secretaries in 1977, to serving as Secretary to the Australian delegation at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Melbourne in 1981.  And most recently attending the Perth CHOGM in 2011 as High Commissioner, His Excellency reflects on his encounters with Her Majesty and Her 60 years as Head of the Commonwealth.

To view the High Commissioner’s entry click here.

Malcolm Fraser talks to the Jubilee Time Capsule

Eminent Persons Meeting, Malborough House, London 1986: Commonwealth Secretary-General, Shridath Ramphal, The Rt Hon Malcolm Fraser (Australia), General Obasanjo (Nigeria), Chief Emeka Anyaoku (Deputy Secretary-General), Mr Hugo Craft, Director, International Affairs Division.

The Jubilee Time Capsule team recently interviewed Malcolm Fraser former Australian Prime Minister and member of the original Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group.

In his interview Mr Fraser talks about the effect the 1986 EPG report Mission to South Africa: The Commonwealth Report  had on the Commonwealth, working with the United States and what changes were made as a result.

To view Mr Fraser’s interview click here.

Leaders Vote Unanimously to Change Laws of Succession

 

The Prime Ministers of the 16 Commonwealth realms where Her Majesty the Queen is Head of State have unanimously agreed to work towards amending the rules of succession.

The countries wish to see change in two areas.  Firstly, they wish to change the current system of primogeniture, which allows a younger son to displace an elder daughter in the line of succession.  Secondly, they wish to amend the legal provision which states that any heir who marries a Roman Catholic will no longer be eligible to succeed to the Crown.

These changes mean that if Prince William and Catherine Middleton have a first-born daughter who marries a Roman Catholic, and that daughter also has a younger brother, she would nonetheless be eligible to inherit the Crown.

To read more about the First Draft of Agreement please visit the official CHOGM website.

 

Queen opens 21st CHOGM in Perth

HM The Queen has officially opened the 21st Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth.

The Opening Ceremony commenced at 10am this morning and featured traditional Aboriginal dancing and a ceremonial presentation to the Queen.

The Queen was joined by Prime Minister Gillard who in her opening remarks said the Commonwealth had “shared values, of peace, democracy, racial equality, the rule of law, and the commitment to social and economic progress”.

The meeting was then officially opened by the Queen who said that the meeting promises to bring “new vibrancy” to the Commonwealth.  Her Majesty then thanked the Eminent Persons Group (EPG) for their work, continuing:

“I wish Heads of Government well in agreeing further reforms that respond boldly to the aspirations of today and that keep the Commonwealth fresh and fit for tomorrow.” 

The Queen concluded with an Aboriginal proverb:

“We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love… and then we return home.”

To read Her Majesty’s speech in full please visit the official website of The British Monarchy.