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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 3 Hansard (24 February) . . Page.. 920..


MR CORBELL (continuing):

public servants, health professionals—whoever it may be—the contribution is a mighty one. It shows the strength and the heart of our community and it is important that we pay tribute to that today and express our thanks to all of those involved in making that contribution, whether financial, in terms of time, expertise or whatever it may have been. I thank members for joining in support for this motion.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Adjournment

Motion (by Mr Corbell) proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

Death of Mr Noel Flanagan AO

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (5.50): Last week I had the honour of attending the requiem mass of thanksgiving and a celebration of life for one Noel Joseph Francis Xavier Flanagan AO. Noel was born on Christmas Day 1917 and died on St Valentine's Day 2009. He was buried at St Peter Chanel's, Yarralumla on Wednesday, 18 February 2009.

The best words to describe the life of Noel Flanagan are those from his family, so I shall simply read:

Noel Joseph Flanagan was born in the town of Tocumwal on the Murray River to Elizabeth and James Flanagan on 25 December 1917. He was the oldest son, with two brothers, Jack and Kevin, and two sisters, Kathleen and Dorothy making up the family.

He went to the local Catholic primary school and learnt the piano (rather badly). He spent his high school years boarding at St Patrick's at Ballarat. A good student, and a passionate sportsman, he was School Captain as well as Captain of the cricket, tennis and AFL teams in 1935 and 1936.

He started his public service career in the PMG in Melbourne in 1937. Noel studied part time, and graduated with a Commerce degree from Melbourne University. In World War II, he enlisted in the R.A.A.F. Whilst Noel was having emergency surgery his Liberator bomber crew flew out over Balikpapan, Indonesia and they were shot down with no survivors. For the rest of the war Noel was a Pilot Instructor training others to fly.

He moved to Canberra in 1947 and lived at the Hotel Acton. Between 1949 and 1953 he worked as Private Secretary to various Ministers for Immigration (Calwell and Holt). He continued with his sport, playing AFL for Queanbeyan/Acton and tennis at the Reid Tennis Club. He became an avid golfer at the Royal Canberra Golf Club, and continued to play until well into his 80s.

But sport was not enough. He was smitten by a gorgeous girl, Dell Justins who also worked in Parliament House, and, on 4 April 1953 they married. Noel and Dell have five children—Kerry, Louise, Paul, Patricia and Mary.


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