Page 921 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 24 February 2009

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He had a distinguished career in the public service. He worked in the Public Service Board from 1958-65 and the Prime Minister’s Department from 1966-72, where he set up the Australian Honours System. A highlight for the family was the year in Spokane, USA, in 1974, where Noel ran the Australian pavilion at the World Expo. The culmination of his career was his appointment as Director of the Australian War Memorial in 1975, where he introduced the Volunteer Guide service and succeeded in making the AWM more than just a memorial, but an accessible living history of the way war had touched and affected so many Australian lives. He was Chair and Board member of the Australian National Committee of the International Council of Museums from 1977. He was awarded an AO for his public service.

His Catholic faith was very strong and he devoted much of his time to helping others—through the Legion of Mary, L’Arche, the YMCA and Meals on Wheels.

The partners of his children had to “run the gauntlet” to be accepted by Noel as good enough to be part of the Flanagan family. They all succeeded, and grew to love and respect him. He was an adoring Pop to his nine grandchildren Joanna, Harriet and Emily McIntosh, Ashlin and Bethany Flanagan, Lindsay and Dylan Owen-Taylor, and Jade and Patrick Oduro. He made relentless enquiries of them regarding their schooling, sport and pets and was known to regularly dole out top up pocket money.

One of his friends once said of him that “people were his drug”. His Saturday morning forays to the Fyshwick markets were legend—his “people fix” for the week. He was a wonderful, if sometimes opinionated, friend.

But the centre of his life, the thing that gave him most joy was his family. We will miss him terribly, but know he is now at peace, and, as he asked us to do, we will remember the good times.

It is interesting that Noel wrote a few last words to go in the booklet. It is a great description of his love of his family and his care and compassion for the rest of the world. It simply reads as follows:

My heartfelt love to my ever faithful wife Dell, my wonderful children and their partners, the fab grandies, and siblings and the many friends with whom we have shared so much joy, laughter and close association and a prayer for those in many parts of the world who suffer from famine, war, neglect and have no one to love them.

My eternal thanks.

God bless you all. Noel.

Arts organisations

Canberra area theatre awards

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (5.55): I would like to pay tribute to a number of arts organisations that I have had the privilege to visit—and participate in their events—over the last two or three months. I was given the privilege of becoming the shadow

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