Page 2039 - Week 06 - Tuesday, 21 June 2011

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will be sadly missed, and tenders its profound sympathy to his family, friends and colleagues in their bereavement.

I would like to extend my deepest sympathy to the family of a much loved local identity, Mr Jim Murphy, who sadly passed away on Thursday, 26 May, aged 63. I am sure I speak for all of my colleagues in the Assembly in offering my profound sympathy to Jim’s wife, Margaret, his two sons, Adrien and Damien, and his family, friends and colleagues in the time of this loss.

As one of the capital’s leading citizens, Jim’s contribution to the ACT was immense. I think it is fair to say that, through his tireless efforts over so many years, Jim Murphy raised the profile of the ACT both overseas and nationally. He had an impact on the lives of many Canberrans through his passion for wine, business and charitable works, sport and the church. As his eldest son, Damien, put it so eloquently at his father’s funeral, “Dad managed to bundle up all of these passions. He was an ordinary man who did extraordinary things.”

The many hundreds who attended his funeral at St Christopher’s were testament to his popularity and the esteem in which he was held in the community. The overwhelming outpouring of grief at Jim’s sad passing was something that is reserved for very few people. On that day, the packed congregation included people from all walks of life—captains of industry, Indigenous leaders, young people, politicians from both sides of the fence, sports stars, the clergy and ordinary Canberrans—who wanted to pay their respects to a man who, through his generous nature, had touched them all.

Jim was born in Boorowa in 1948, the youngest of eight children. He often remarked about the benefits and the challenges of growing up in a large Irish Catholic family in a small country town. This must have been character building and no doubt helped to shape his later life, which was marked by his tenacity, strong work ethic, humour and support for those less privileged.

Jim is probably best remembered for his outstanding contribution to the wine industry. He was instrumental in advancing and promoting it both locally and across Australia since 1971. His reputation and connections both nationally and overseas helped put our local wine industry on the map. Colleagues have described his work in this field as an unbelievable success story, but he will be remembered for so much more than his love and promotion of fine wine.

As an honorary ambassador for the ACT, Jim travelled the world selling the benefits of the national capital. He led numerous successful trade missions, particularly to his beloved Ireland and frequently into China and Japan. Such was Jim’s ability to win over all comers that the mission Jim led to Ireland in the late 90s was supported by both Liberal and Labor, with Gary Humphries and Ted Quinlan making the journey together. I am told that some excellent meetings were held at the time when the Irish economy was going gangbusters, and, with Jim leading from the front, special tastings were arranged at the famous Guinness brewery and Jameson whiskey distillery.

The strong ties that Jim made in China were instrumental in the establishment of Canberra’s sister city relationship with Beijing. In 2003 Jim was appointed a member

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