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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 2 Hansard (19 May) . . Page.. 292 ..


MR SPEAKER: Members, it is with deep regret that I inform the Assembly of the death of Mr Alex Fyfe, who recently retired as the Assembly's Principal Attendant. I would like to acknowledge the presence in the gallery of his wife, Erlie, his son, Alexander, and other members of the family.

MR WOOD: Mr Speaker, with sadness, I move:

That the Assembly expresses its deep regret at the death of the Assembly's former Principal Attendant, Alex Fyfe, and tenders its profound sympathy to his wife, Erlie, and children in their bereavement.

I move this motion also on behalf of all who work in this building, who knew, who liked and who respected Alex Fyfe. In this motion, we express our sadness at his death and our condolence to his family. Our thoughts are now on the written record of the Assembly as we say them directly to the family.

Before coming to this Assembly, Alex had long and honourable service with the Victoria Police, the Royal Papua and New Guinea Constabulary, the Commonwealth Police and the Australian Federal Police. His record was outstanding. In Victoria, he was awarded the chief commissioner's certificate for bravery and eight commendations for efficiency in police duties. He was awarded the Royal Papua and New Guinea Constabulary Valour Medal, which was presented to him by the then Governor-General - a most significant award.

Happily, for all of us in this building, he did not at any time have to display quite such conspicuous bravery in his duties here. He did effectively take control at the time of the most severe attack on the outside of this building. But what members do not perhaps know - and I did not until I was informed by officers in the building - is that there was also constant communication with law enforcement agencies about likely threats to the Assembly or those in this chamber. That was a most important aspect of Alex's work which he did generally unknown to us.

In this Assembly, members knew Alex to be a highly competent officer who performed all his duties well, probably better than we realised. All the duties in this building - including in this chamber - have been carried out with calm, easy efficiency. We have taken that for granted, but it does not just happen. There is good organisation behind it. That good organisation was Alex Fyfe. His attention to detail and his meticulous ways were qualities important in this job. Members knew Alex to be a real gentleman, conducting all matters with dignity, confidence and assurance, but with pleasantness. He worked in this place for seven years - seven years of dedicated service to the Assembly and, therefore, also to the people of Canberra. Members knew Alex to be serious about his work, as I have described; but he was, with it, a good friend for his work associates to relax with.

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