Page 1459 - Week 06 - Thursday, 2 July 2020

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

The profession holds him up as the model for judicial integrity. At the same time, his wry sense of humour often left you wondering whether he was kidding or whether he really meant what he had just said.

Michael Somes was one of those unique people who always kept in touch with the people he cared about. We all need friends like that. Michael’s son, Adam, shared with us his admiration for his father as he fought with everything that he had against his diagnosis. Michael and his family have also expressed their strong feelings about the incredible healthcare specialists who fought for him with skill and persistence. The love of his family got him through these many years of struggle.

Adam also spoke about his father’s character, shining through everything that he did as part of a group, collectively, for the community and not for self-interest. He aspired always to give back, to help his communities of influence, to improve and be better through guidance rather than directions. Michael instilled in people a sense of being able to develop from their own experience. These thoughts, which have been shared with my office, speak volumes for Michael’s warmth, his candour and his capacity for genuine empathy.

Michael’s wife, Anne, is known to me personally through her involvement with the arts community, particularly the theatre community and Free-Rain Theatre Company. I have been in contact with a number of people across the arts and the theatre community in the last few days. They speak of Michael’s gentleness, his warmth, his support and his humour.

The times we are living in created additional difficulties for Michael’s family as they negotiated to hold a remembrance service for him with COVID-19 emergency measures. It is comforting to know that his wife, Anne, is well surrounded by the love of their children, their grandchildren and their friends at this difficult time.

Michael’s passing is a significant loss for the Canberra community. I extend my condolences to Anne, the children, the extended family and the extended community who have been impacted so positively and so warmly by Michael Somes. He will be fondly remembered by so many as a true gentleman; his legacy is one to be well admired.

Question resolved in the affirmative, members standing in their places.

Ms Linda Ashford

Motion of condolence

MR BARR (Kurrajong—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Social Inclusion and Equality, Minister for Tourism and Special Events and Minister for Trade, Industry and Investment) (10.19): I move:

That this Assembly expresses its deep regret at the death of the Honourable Acting Justice Linda Ashford of the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory, and tenders its profound sympathy to her family, friends and colleagues in their bereavement.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video