Page 107 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . .

The great thing about Jim was that he never lost his ordinary nature. He was a butcher, just one of the blokes on the street. I want to read from the eulogy prepared by his family. It states:

By the early nineties, with retirement beckoning, they decided to move permanently to Surfers Paradise in Australia to be nearer Barry and Jean—

two of their children. It goes on:

They bought a small flat overlooking the Surfers Paradise Bowling Club—

bowling was one of Jim’s passions—

within walking distance of one of the nicest beaches in the world. However, this idyllic retirement was shattered in March 1996 by the tragic and senseless death of their beloved daughter Jean.

Without a second’s thought, they packed everything up and moved to Canberra to assume care of Jean’s four young children. At the ages of 68 and 70 years respectively, Jim and Norah embarked upon the heroic task of bringing up four children ranging from eight to 15 years old. Despite the obvious challenges in bridging the wide generation gap, those who knew Nadia, Naomi, Isaac and Amera realise that this was their crowning achievement of their packed lives. Great joy was also given in to him recent years by the unexpected arrival of another grandchild, Dana; she was and is truly a gift from on high.

It goes on to talk about his faith and to joke about his Scottish nature. Everybody thought he was a bit frugal, but he was not. He did not have anything because he gave it away. I met him because my daughters were in his granddaughter Amera’s class. It is funny at about 40 dealing with a bloke of about 75 and working out who was in the car pool. We would meet in the driveway of the school or I would meet him in the driveway of his house or he would come to the driveway of my house. Jim and I spent a huge number of hours waiting for a bunch of young girls to get out of the dance or wherever it was that they were having their parties. He never once let those kids down. Jim Lennon will go down as a truly great Canberran.

Dr Jose Ramos-Horta

DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (6.10): Another truly great man who is fighting for his life. I refer, of course, to Jose Ramos-Horta. He is probably very well known to us all. I think that his condition is particularly relevant to us here in the ACT. We have a friendship relationship with the city of Dili and we have in our city certainly some of the most consistent and active supporters of East Timor’s long, long battle for self-determination.

Jose Ramos-Horta is now a leader in East Timor, but for many, many years, probably for his whole life, he has been consumed by the struggle to make East Timor independent of the Indonesian—let us call it invasion. Australia has a long and troubled history in relation to the domination of East Timor by the Indonesian military. Regardless of the outcome for Ramos-Horta, it is clearly going to be a long, long

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . .