Selected Speeches Of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I


We welcome the Officers and ratings who have brought this ship safely to Our shore. The ship, which We have christened Ethiopia, has been presented to Us by Our friend the United States of America under the aid programme.

This ship, which has taken her place as the flagship of Ethiopia's Naval Forces, will contribute immeasurably to the discharge of the solemn duty which Our nation assumed nearly ten years ago with the return to the Motherland of Ethiopia's ancient ports on the Red Sea.

The HMS Ethiopia, as she sails these waters which extend before Us, will serve as a symbol of Ethiopia's determination to guard her extensive coastline and to protect her maritime interests. Equally, she will provide tangible and continuing evidence of the harmonious and felicitous relationship existing between the United States of America which, as part of the Military Assistance Programme, has made available this vessel now a part of Ethiopia's Navy. We express profound thanks for this gift.

We anticipate that the acquisition of the HMS Ethiopia is the prosecution of a course of action which will continue until the Ethiopian Navy attains the capacity to make her proper and equitable contribution to the seafaring tradition of the days of Adulis. Though Ethiopia was robbed of her seaports, we remained seafarers in spirit.

We could hardly miss the opportunity to thank the U.S. Navy that has trained the Officers and ratings in the naval science that has enabled them to bring this ship safely to port through a long and arduous journey across thousands of miles. They have brought honour upon themselves and to the country.

They and their colleagues in the service of this area of Ethiopia's Armed Forces comprise the nucleus around which will be built an efficient naval service. We hope that the present number of Our naval officers and ratings will grow to thousands.

The training which they have already received, the additional training which will be given in the classroom on this very ship, the practical experience which they will acquire, will fit them to uphold the glorious traditions handed down from generations of Ethiopians whose names live in history and in the hearts of their countrymen.

We would like to thank especially Norwegian and American senior Naval Officers who have commanded this ship. In addition, We take this opportunity in thanking Commander Iskender Desta for the great concern and effort he had shown for the growth of the Naval College. To the Officers and men of the HMS Ethiopia, We say, "Godspeed and good sailing." We thank His Excellency the American Ambassador for his kind words and the effort he is making to strengthen the friendly relations between our two Governments.

June 17, 1962.

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Emperor Haile Sellassie First Theocracy Reign
Order of the Nyahbinghi

July 26, 2017