PASSING OF EMPRESS MENEN
We are pleased with the speech Our Prime Minister delivered yesterday on behalf of Our Ministers and Our people concerning the demise of Her Imperial Majesty Itegue Menen in which he adequately described her kindness and virtues.
All of you knew her well but she was more intimately known to me. She was devoutly religious and did not lose her faith even in the time of hardship. During the memorable days of Our companionship We never had differences that needed the intervention of others. As Sarah was to Abraham, so was she obedient to me. Our wishes were mutual until we were separated by the Almighty. Her assistance for the good of the young, the old and the needy requires no testimony for they are greater than thoughts and words.
We have been extremely pleased to live long enough in the perfect union that enabled us to see our offspring, our grandchildren and our great grandchildren. We are thankful to the Almighty for having vouchsafed to us that long and uninterrupted union which is not very common in the world today: There could be no more profound prayer for me to utter.
In spite of Our utmost efforts to save her life in her time of illness, she was overtaken by the fate of Adam and passed away.
We cannot fly in the face of the Almighty, nor can We afford to be idle. Now that the time of mourning has come to an end, the public and our officials must attend to their duties. As idleness is injurious to the welfare of the country, as from Monday everyone should return to his work.
A large number of people have come from the Provinces to take part in Our mourning. Since We do not wish them to continue because this will disrupt normal life, it would be better for them to send two or three representatives with letters.
We are deeply touched by the expressions of grief both on the part of Our people and the foreign communities.
This is not the first time that Our people have joined Us in Our mourning. When Our beloved son, Prince Makonnen, passed away they expressed their grief in no less measure than We ourselves. They have even contributed of their own free will to erect a monument in his honour.
We pray the Almighty shall recompense you for your deeds.
When Itegue was sick the general public, following the events through the radio, shared Our anxiety. To the doctors and her personal attendants We owe a debt for their untiring assistance. May these tears We shed be accepted by God as price for peace in Ethiopia and in the world.
Feb. 15, 1962.
Selected Speeches of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie – page 650 –