Page 113 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 27 November 2012
Paul had a number of interests and passions, including golf, but it was his membership of the Liberal Party that caused me and others in this chamber to come in contact with the Bergers. They helped Mr Smyth out on many campaigns and were a friend to many members. I will never forget our first meeting. In 2008 at a meet the candidates event, recently after my pre-selection as a candidate, I found myself in a room full of people I did not know well.
The Bergers came up to me and went straight to the point. Basically I was ex-military, Paul was ex-military, and they would like to help me. And help me they did, with fundraisers at their home, with letterboxing, with their friendship of myself and Fleur and with their strong advocacy.
I think that Paul had an easier time convincing his ex-naval friends to vote for me than Virginia, who often bemoaned the fact that so many of her friends voted Labor. As you all know, when you start a political journey you need friends who put their faith in you, and I will never forget the faith that Paul and Virginia put in me.
I thank Paul for his friendship, and on behalf of all of the Canberra Liberals I thank Paul for his service to our country, to our community and to our party. Indeed, for those in this chamber who did not know him, I am sure all members, if they had had the opportunity to know Paul Berger, would echo my sentiment.
I will finish by quoting again Simon and Andrew, who finished the eulogy so beautifully.
Our family has mixed views about religion, but there is one thing about which we all agree—that people live on through the contributions they make and the people they influence.
As we say farewell to Dad and remember him fondly, it is up to us to carry forward his legacy of responsibility, selflessness, service and commitment—to our community, our country and our families.
If we do that, our world will continue to be a better place for all that he gave us.
MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (4.53): I rise tonight to talk about White Ribbon, the annual event which occurs internationally in regard to the elimination of violence against women. It occurs on 25 November each year. Of course, many of us in this Assembly have been part of White Ribbon and White Ribbon ambassadors for a number of years. Just for some background, I have not spoken about this since I was in the chamber last, but it began in Canada. It was originally formed as a reaction to backlash when on 6 December 1989 a young man walked into the Ecole Polytechnique university in Montreal, Canada and brutally massacred 14 of his female classmates.