Page 372 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 15 February 2005

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friends with Christine. I know this through other relationships that I have with people who knew Charlie and his family. Even on the day he died, Charlie and Pam, Charlie’s kids, Tina and Kari, Pam’s daughters, Rebecca and Bella, Charlie’s mother, Anna Lena, and Christine, were all there in Samoa. Not many of us are able to arrange our personal affairs in such a way and I think the way he worked at that, his personal life, is truly a reflection of the man.

If you want a reflection of how his community held him, you have only to visit the Charlie Pahlman Memorial web site. I am not aware of many web sites that are set up in people’s honour when they die, but this is clearly one that has been well visited and well cared for. I would encourage members to visit the site themselves and read the various stories there. You can feel the genuine affection and love that his family and friends had for Charlie.

There is also a tribute to Charlie in the foyer at the ACTCOSS headquarters in Jamieson House up on Constitution Avenue—something I have not seen before. There is a small memorial in the form of a rug and on it there are some photos, some flowers, candles, cards and people’s reflections. Again, that depth of emotion that people are willing to show for Charlie is a real tribute to the man he was. If you are passing ACTCOSS headquarters in Constitution Avenue, just duck in and pay your respects, because it is still there and I suspect it will be there for some time to come.

I ran into Charlie through his work in mental health, through his work as director of ACTCOSS and particularly out on the hustings. I think the way he behaved on the hustings was an example to all of us. He was always willing to have the argument, he was always willing to stand by his convictions and his belief, but was always willing to allow other people to have their say and then join with them in a conversation or a discussion on how his view was perhaps better or stronger and why we should change ours. I will always remember Charlie for being willing to have a go and never giving up. Certainly, his sharing and generosity come through in what other people have said about him, and I think ultimately what you can say about him is that he was a good bloke and a great Australian.

MRS BURKE (Molonglo): I would like to thank the Chief Minister for bringing forward this motion this morning. I rise to pay my sincere respects to a man I hardly knew but a man who made you feel like you had known each other for years. I acknowledge members of Charlie’s family in the chamber there. Thank you for being here today.

I was just bowled over by this person who bowled people over; he just did that. He would bound into the room before election time at forums, sleeves rolled up, always rushing, hat down—sometimes hat on—ready to go: “Right, let’s get into it.”

I remember one particular occasion over at the ACROD election forum when Charlie was under attack from other candidates at that stage. He had got a few of these election forums up his sleeve and was getting used to the attacks of: “Ah, but where’s the money going to come from?” He stood up this time and said, “Well, perhaps we may never hold the chequebook, but it won’t stop me or the Greens from lobbying those that do” or words to that effect—and that was Charlie.

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