Tears and poetry as staff bid farewell to the boss

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 01 July, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 01 July, 1997, 12:00am
 

When a staff member left Government House, the Pattens traditionally held a farewell lunch.


So when the roles were reversed, staff returned the favour.


In the dining room of the white-washed colonial residence on Thursday, before the hectic pace of official engagements went into overdrive, they delivered goodbye speeches to their former boss and each other.


'When any staff member leaves, the Governor and Mrs Patten will hold a staff lunch for him or her. The Governor will speak, and the person leaving will speak,' said one employee.


'But we are not all leaving within the Governor's term, so we had never had a chance to say how we felt.


'The speeches were very moving - there were tears.' Aide-de-camp Lance Brown led the way with a poem he had penned for his boss of two years.


The Pattens plan to spend six months at their country cottage near Toulouse, in France, before moving into a newly purchased house in Putney, London.


Their eldest daughter Kate, 24, is part of a BBC production team in London. Laura, 22, is a beauty assistant with Harpers and Queen magazine in the same city. Youngest daughter Alice, 17, plans to travel and work in France before studying modern languages at Cambridge or Edinburgh universities.


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