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Knighted Fijian Recalls His Meetings With Late Monarch

Sir James Ah Koy has paid tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II.
10 Sep 2022 15:06
Knighted Fijian Recalls His Meetings With Late Monarch
Sir James Ah Koy at his residence in Namadi, holding photos of him being knighted and meeting the late Queen Elizabeth II. Photo: Viliame Tawanakoro

Sir James Ah Koy has paid tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II.

The former Finance Minister and multi-millionaire businessman, is among the first Fijian citizens to be knighted after Sitiveni Rabuka removed Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II as head of state after his second military coup in 1987.

Sir James was knighted by Queen Elizabeth as a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE).

The honour was bestowed following a recommendation from the Papua New Guinea Government to the queen in recognition of Sir James’ contribution to business in the South Pacific.

Yesterday, Sir James shared his experience of meeting Her Majesty the queen twice, a rare opportunity that not many Fijians have shared.

“Meeting with the queen in 2006 was really inspiring; by the time we to meet with the queen we had to be in the separate part of Buckingham Palace so we were going to be briefed,” he said.

fijians knighted by Queen Elizabeth II

“It was a joyful moment as I had all my family with me, to witness this rare occasion. I was a bit nervous as I was told that I was the first of the blokes to be knighted and the first to see the queen.

“She is an awe-inspiring queen; she is unbelievable and when you meet with her in person, she is something else. I have spoken with her and the first thing she asked me was if I have been in the palace before and I said ‘Yes! I have been here before, Ma’am’.”

“We will sadly miss her; she’ll be sadly missed by the Commonwealth countries and other countries; she was very loved by many” he said.

 

Feedback:  viliame@fijisun.com.fj

 



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