Page 1359 - Week 04 - Tuesday, 27 March 2012

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Australian Committee for Venice, of which she was national president for three decades.

Valerie celebrated her 94th birthday, surrounded by her family and friends, only six days before her death. She was buried in Woden cemetery last Thursday at a private ceremony. A memorial service will be held at St Paul’s Anglican church in Manuka this Thursday at 2 pm. She is survived by her three sons, Robert, Jonathan and Charles, daughters-in-law, Prue, Jenny and Debra, seven grandchildren and eight great grandchildren. Valerie was immensely proud of her family; many of them are seated in the visitors gallery here tonight, and we welcome them.

Valerie Howse was an amazing lady whose many friends admired her commitment to the values and traditions that she held so dear. She took great pride in her appearance, and she became a well-known figure in Canberra, decked out in her trademark blue suit and hat, with immaculately groomed hair. Valerie was the proud product of an earlier age when manners mattered more than they do today and things had to be done properly. One sensed that Valerie was not altogether comfortable with the changing ways of the world, but she accepted change in her usual stoic way. We will not see the likes of her again. Our sincere condolences to her family.

Mrs Valerie Howse OAM

MR COE (Ginninderra) (5.07): This evening I, too, would like to pay tribute to Mrs Valerie Howse OAM, who sadly passed away on 16 March, aged 94. Whilst I cannot remember exactly when I first met Valerie, it must be about 10 years ago. I met her through the Liberal Party, which is an organisation she loyally supported for decades. Through my interaction with her I will always remember her friendly demeanour, her conscientiousness, her lovely smile and her general positive outlook. She was a special lady and will be sorely missed.

Whilst Mr Doszpot has already described some details of Valerie’s life, I, too, would like to record into Hansard her contribution to Canberra and Australia.

Valerie was born in 1918 to Major General Rupert and Mrs Doris Downes and attended St Catherine’s school in Toorak and various business colleges before marrying John Brooke Howse in 1939.

Valerie was a well-known Canberra identity for many years, after visiting here frequently during her husband John’s political career and living here permanently after coming from Orange in 1960. John Howse was the Liberal member for Calare between 1946 and 1960, following on from his father, who held the seat between 1922 and 1929.

John, like Neville, won the seat from the Labor Party and thereafter it remained continuously in coalition hands for almost 40 years. John narrowly won the seat in 1946 with 25,247 votes to 23,496 votes, after the distribution of preferences, representing 51.8 per cent of the two-party preferred vote. Three years later he won the seat with 57 per cent of the vote, and that margin grew to 58.1 per cent in 1958. Of

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