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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 2 Hansard (19 May) . . Page.. 295 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

In his earlier service with the Victoria Police, Alex Fyfe also received a citation for courage and initiative displayed in assisting in the apprehension of three notorious criminals who were armed and in possession of explosives. On that occasion they were criminals from a Sydney gang who were caught in St Kilda. They were armed with some incredibly dangerous weapons, ranging from gelignite through to a couple of rifles and a submachine gun. Not only was Alex conspicuous by his bravery in arresting those criminals, but also in the course of the trial he showed his very fine intelligence when it came to matters involving criminal law, and a further person was charged as an accomplice, tried and convicted.

Mr Speaker, those of us who have been here for a long time and who got to know Alex very well and those of us who have been here for only a short time have been touched by Alex's friendship and the way he unflappably went about his job. I think our society is all the richer for having had Alex as one of its members, and he will be most sadly missed.

MR BERRY: It is with deep regret that I rise today to say a few words about Alex Fyfe. It was only a couple of weeks ago that we were all here singing Alex's praises for the contribution that he had made to this Assembly and in other areas of his work. At yesterday's service at the church it was also said that there were many other areas in which Alex had served with great dignity and skill. In some ways, Alex had a very good life in terms of his achievements. It seems to have been peppered with achievements that very few of us in this society would ever have the opportunity to be involved in. His family, of course, will remember those achievements warmly as they grieve over the untimely departure of Alex.

The suddenness of this tragic event reminds us of our vulnerability. Our immediate thought when we learnt of Alex's illness was how there could be a better outcome for him. But once all hope had passed our thoughts, of course, went to the family and how best they can be offered some comfort. I think Alex's family can take a great deal of comfort from the fact that Alex has made a contribution to society - a contribution which means that society is a better place for his being part of it. It seems to me that one of the great measures of one's period of life is how society is assisted by one's participation in it. Alex's family can rest assured that, from the record, Alex's contribution has been a good one and one that they can be relaxed about in terms of their pride and their feelings towards a dearly loved Alex who was taken from them in such an untimely manner.

Given the circumstances of Alex's departure, I am certainly reminded of my own vulnerability. I am sure everybody else here is, too. His family will be comforted by the fact that Alex made a long and committed contribution to the societies in which he participated from the time he began work until the time of his untimely departure. I hope that Alex is warmly remembered by everybody. He deserves it.

MR SMYTH (Minister for Urban Services): Mr Speaker, yesterday Bill Stefaniak and this morning Bill Wood summarised well the achievements of Alex Wallace Fyfe. The only comment that I would like to add to their remarks is that, quite clearly, yesterday Fathers Mick McAndrew and John Wood acknowledged the other work that none of us saw - the friendliness of Alex and his family in making Mick welcome to the new parish and the support that they gave him. It was nice to hear that acknowledged.

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