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Page added on March 24, 2010
High Commissioner Edward Mohamed Turay has presented his credentials to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.Â
The traditional high-profiled ceremony took place at the prestigious Buckingham Palace in West London.
â€œI am delighted to meet the Queen and present my credentials on behalf of the government and people of Sierra Leone,â€ Turay said shortly after the closed-door ceremony.
Hundreds of cheering crowds mainly white tourists stormed the streets taking historic photographs as the High Commissioner, his wife and four senior diplomatic staff members were driven in a convoy of horses and carriages from the Vin dhonneur Hotel, Hamilton Place, West London to Buckingham Palace.Â
Other senior diplomatic staffs who met the Queen were the Head of Chancery Florence Bangali, Counsellors Sahr Prince Demba and Josephine Marrah and Information AttachÃ© Sorie Sudan Sesay.
â€œThis was perhaps the biggest opportunity of my life â€“Â you just canâ€™t imagine the excitement that gripped me meeting Her Majesty theÂ Queen,â€ Sudan said as he walked out of Buckingham Palace.
Meeting the Queen was a one-on-one affair with traditional protocols with no photographs allowed to be taken.Â
A bell rings and the door to the main entrance of the Queen opens, you take two steps forward and bow to the Queen as a sign signaling your presence to her MajestyÂ Palace. You then walk forward towards the Queen, bows againÂ as you stretch your hand to greet the Queen.
At the Vin dhonneur Hotel where a reception was organised in honour of the High Commissioner, Turay extended warm felicitations from His Excellency, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma the President, and people of the Republic of Sierra Leone to the Head of State of the United Kingdom and the diplomatic community in London for celebrating what he described as ‘this significant event’ with his mission.
One after the other, the High Commissioner and the four other diplomats performed the ceremonial protocol before leaving Buckingham Palace and driving away in a convoy of horses and carriage to the Vin dhonneur Hotel amidst cheering crowds of onlookers.Â
He assuredÂ the BritishÂ Government of his tireless efforts in strengthening the cordial long term diplomatic relationship between Britain and Sierra Leone.
He said the Government of the United Kingdom has always provided assistance toÂ Sierra Leone, disclosing that at the moment there are a number of ongoing projects which come in the form of infrastructural development, institutional development and public sector reform, etc.
“We are delighted that the complementary assistance of the UK and other development partners has marked a turning point in the development effort of our government,” Turay said.
He said Sierra Leone has bounced back from the malaise of the civil conflict to a status of improved electricity supply in Freetown and other major cities, which is backed by a massive reconstruction of roads and infrastructure.
“WeÂ are also creating a friendly investment environment that is on par with the most advanced sister countries within the region – President Koroma has also made the fight against corruption a priority,” the High Commissioner emphasised.Â Â
The High Commissioner also addressed Sierra Leoneans at another reception at the High Commission later in the evening.
Turay said meeting the Queen was a big day for him and explained his encounter with Her Majesty which he said was full of fun and excitement.
The High Commissioner was introduced by his deputy Tamba Mansa Ngegba, who described his boss as an experienced politician whilst wishing him and wife a pleasant stay in the United Kingdom.Â
Earlier the Head of Chancery welcomed guests saying as staff of the mission, they were happy to have their compatriots together in celebrating what she described as ‘a historic day.’Sorie Sudan Sesay, Information Attache, Sierra Leone High Commission, UK/NI
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