Page 5267 - Week 14 - Thursday, 19 November 2009

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Thursday, 19 November 2009

MR SPEAKER (Mr Rattenbury) took the chair at 10 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Death of Mr James Pead MBE

Motion of condolence

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Minister for Transport, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs and Minister for the Arts and Heritage): I move:

That this Assembly expresses its deep regret at the death of Mr James Pead MBE, a proactive and loyal resident of Canberra who made significant contributions to the commercial and administrative development of the city, and tenders its profound sympathy to his family, friends and colleagues in their bereavement.

Mr Speaker, Jim Pead was in many ways a quintessential Canberran. Like so many others who came to call this city home in its earliest decades, he was born elsewhere, but he helped shape the culture and community—as well as the look—of the fledgling national capital in its first century.

Jim Pead arrived as a toddler, the son of a construction worker engaged on the building of Old Parliament House. At the official opening of the parliament he rode atop his father’s shoulders, while the older Pead drove a water truck, spraying water to keep the dust down during the ceremony. Photos of the time show sheep grazing between the cameras and the official party. There would have been plenty of dust to settle.

The family lived at No 2 the Causeway, and young Jim attended St Christopher’s school in Manuka. Like others of the time, Jim and his classmates probably calculated the time of day by the sound of the hooter at the nearby Kingston powerhouse, Canberra’s oldest public building. As a young man, Jim studied for a degree at Canberra University College, the earliest incarnation of the ANU, and in the finest of Canberra traditions, he worked for some time in the commonwealth public service, in the then Department of Foreign Affairs.

But an entrepreneurial spirit could not be long resisted, and Jim soon left the public service to open Canberra’s very first self-service supermarket at the Yarralumla shops. In the early 1950s he was Chairman of the Yarralumla Progress Association, a role that no doubt kindled his interest in community representation and community activism, activity that over the coming decades would stamp his mark on so much that happened in the ACT. And “stamp” was not a verb too far from the truth, at times.

On 31 March 1969, as Chairman of the ACT Advisory Council, a predecessor of this parliament, Jim led a mass resignation of council members. The trigger, recalled by Eric Sparke in his book Canberra 1954-1980, was the cavalier attitude taken by the

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