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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 9 Hansard (20 August) . . Page.. 2490..


MR SMYTH (continuing):

Suspension of standing order 34

Motion (by Mr Cornwell ) agreed to, with the concurrence of an absolute majority:

That so much of standing order 34 be suspended as would prevent the adjournment debate continuing beyond 5.30 p.m.

Death of John Brooke Howse VRD, CStJ

MR CORNWELL (5.29): Mr Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to a man who died recently: John Brooke Howse VRD, Knight of Grace of St John of Jerusalem. He died on 11 July 2002, aged 88.

John Howse was a naval officer in World War II, completing the war as a lieutenant commander. He was the Liberal member for Calare for 14 years, from 1946 to 1960. He retired in 1960 to Canberra and became a stockbroker, resident director of the P&O Shipping Company, chairman of Macdonald Hamilton and chairman of Perpetual Trustee Company.

In addition, he was involved very much in the life of the nation and of this city. He was on the council of the Australian War Memorial. He was president of the Navy League of Australia. He organised the Canberra sea cadets and was on the council of St John's Ambulance here in Canberra.

I met John Howse in 1966 when I came to Canberra to manage the P&O office here. John and his wife, Valerie, looked after me very well, introducing me to young people of my own age, including, I remember, two very charming daughters of the military attache of the British High Commission, at the Howses' swimming pool in Forrest.

John Howse also became my political mentor. He was a wise man full of commonsense and advice and a lifelong Liberal who led by example. Even last year, in the 2001 election he was helping in the campaign rooms, willingly doing those often boring and certainly mundane jobs like filling or addressing envelopes. He did not believe that as an ex-federal member of parliament such work for the Liberal Party was beneath his dignity.

John Howse was a gentleman, unfailingly polite, irrepressibly cheerful and popular with everybody. He represented a generation that, unfortunately, is rapidly passing on, a generation that unquestionably accepts responsibility. He gave uncomplaining service as required, always had time for others and greatly enjoyed of life.

To my eternal regret, I was overseas when John Howse died and therefore I missed paying my respects at the memorial service which was held at St Paul's, Manuka. I therefore take the opportunity to do so now, not only for myself but also on behalf of my wife and the community of Canberra John Howse served so well and in a dedicated manner for something like 40 years. I extend my condolences to his widow, Valerie, his sons, Charles, Jonathon and Robert, and their families.


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