Page 4351 - Week 14 - Wednesday, 8 December 1993

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Wednesday, 8 December 1993


MADAM SPEAKER (Ms McRae) took the chair at 10.30 am and read the prayer.


MR MOORE: I move:

That the Assembly expresses its deep regret at the death of Mrs Honor Mary Thwaites, who made a significant contribution to the Australian Capital Territory through her work with Remembrance Park on Mount Ainslie, and tenders its profound sympathy to her widower and family in their bereavement.

It is with great sorrow that I rise on this motion of condolence for Honor Thwaites, who died of cancer at her home on Wednesday, 24 November of this year. I am very proud indeed to have counted as friends Honor and her husband, Michael, who is with us in the gallery today. That was a friendship that my wife, Helen, and I valued extremely highly because it was one of those relationships where people were able to be encouraging on the one hand but critical on the other without any implication that a critical comment was to be taken as a personal affront.

Honor was a well-educated person who held an honours degree in languages. Even in this area she was well ahead of her time. Her qualifications reflected her intelligent and thoughtful approach to life and issues which had an impact on our community. In dealing with Honor, there was no doubt that this was a person of keen intellect who was widely read and who had developed a strong philosophy of life.

In Canberra, Honor Thwaites was probably best known as a Park Carer, particularly for her work in establishing and maintaining Remembrance Park, the park which is behind the War Memorial on Mount Ainslie. It was her work in that area which formed the basis of most of our understanding of Honor and her dedication to the environment. Her attitude to the environment was not limited simply to Park Care and nature but also extended to the living environment, which included the way people interrelate with nature and each other.

I now wish to relate some of the fond memories I have of my relationship with Honor. How many times, I wonder, did the telephone in my office or at my home ring and I found Honor on the line expressing her view about something I had just done or something I had not done? For all politicians this can be a nuisance, but Honor had a way of both complimenting and being critical which made such comments extremely useful and helpful. When Honor expressed her opinion, it was never a shallow "I feel" or "You ought to"; it was always supported by arguments which either required some effort to refute or, more often, were basically irrefutable.

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