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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 2 Hansard (19 May) . . Page.. 296 ..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

On the last day of sitting, Mr Osborne lamented the fact that Alex would never call him by his first name and acknowledged that, in his presence, Dave Rugendyke had been called by his Christian name. I think Paul asked, "What do you have to do to get called by your first name?". The simple answer is: You had to come to mass at Holy Family some Sunday mornings. Alex was quite correct in his approach here to all Assembly members. He always called me Mr Smyth. Occasionally, if I met Alex wandering into mass on a Sunday morning or a Sunday night I always got a very pleasant, "Hello, Brendan; how are you?". Perhaps attendance at Holy Family instead of your own parish might have remedied that matter for you.

To Erlie, to Alex junior, to all the family: My best wishes at this time. Thank you for sharing Alex with us. I am sure you will never forget all his achievements.

MR HIRD: Mr Speaker, I join with colleagues in mourning the sad loss of Alex Fyfe. I first met Alex Fyfe when I was one of the managers of the Belconnen shopping centre. Alex was then in the public relations section of the Federal Police. Alex and I, in consultation with other senior police officers, came up with the concept of a police station within the shopping centre, which was a first. Mr Speaker, very shortly after that, as you would recall and as Mr Kaine would also, there was a rowdy demonstration in the House of Assembly, which was the predecessor to this place, and Sergeant Fyfe was there to assist us on that occasion. One of his dear projects was, as has been mentioned, Neighbourhood Watch. He was an extremely generous person, one who gave of his time. He was a professional, one who knew the rights from the wrongs; and I dare say he did not suffer fools lightly. He was a committed family man, but he was also committed to his community, as Mr Berry and Mr Wood have indicated.

I would like to join with members, our staffs and, in particular, our constituents who have lost a great champion, a man who, when I spoke to him on his retirement on that Friday two weeks ago, was looking forward to his trip around Australia with Erlie, his wife, and his family on his retirement. It is a sad loss, and I extend to you, Alex, and the family my deepest sympathy. As Mr Berry said, it makes us all aware of our vulnerability in this world. Do not take things for granted. Please accept our deepest sympathy.

MS TUCKER: I also rise to pay tribute to Alex Fyfe. I did not know him very well, but in my dealings with him here I found him to be not only professional and helpful but also a very warm person. Particularly as a new member, I noticed this; and I was grateful for his very considerate manner. It must be a very difficult time for Alex's family. I extend deep sympathy to them and wish them courage through this difficult time.

MR MOORE (Minister for Health and Community Care): I rise to support this condolence motion and to express my sincere sympathies to Alex's family. For me, one of the most interesting things about Alex Fyfe was that he was so unflappable. I have heard people in this chamber say that today. It was only two weeks ago that he sat in a chair beside the Speaker while we went through the process of farewelling him, we thought, to a fruitful and fantastic retirement. But even then we were not able to get him to react to the sorts of taunts that we were deliberately throwing. Ever since he arrived in this Assembly I have been playing this game with Alex to see whether I could get him rattled; and I was totally unsuccessful.

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