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Wednesday, 15 May 2013
Page: 3432


Dr SOUTHCOTT (Boothby) (18:50): I, also, would like to speak on this condolence motion for Ian Wilson. I would like to put some other perspectives, without focusing on his parliamentary career. I first met Ian Wilson when I was on a trip to Canberra as a school kid. It was a year 7 trip, and we visited Old Parliament House. Ian spent some time with us; it would have been a small part of his day, but I remember him keeping the attention of 11-year-old school boys. At the end of it he gave us loose-leaf Hansards, as well. We were a pretty rowdy group and we found this thing called 'parliament' fascinating.

Some of his sons were at the high school that I attended and I remember, during the 1980 campaign, one of them—Richard—plastering 'Wilson for Sturt' stickers all over the prefects' year 12 room at St Peter's College. So I was certainly familiar with Ian Wilson.

The book Liberal Movement Story has an excellent chapter about the 1972 campaign. As the previous speaker said, Ian lost the seat of Sturt in 1969 to Norm Foster. In 1972, while there was a swing to the Labor Party and the Whitlam government came in, Ian retook that seat. The seat of Sturt was a different seat to the one it is now. I think it incorporated parts of Modbury, so it went into what is now the seat of Makin. So that was a tremendous political achievement, and it was through a lot of very hard work using all of the resources that the Liberal Party had to throw at it, the best of campaigning techniques and lots of visitors.

Other people have touched on Ian Wilson's parliamentary career, and I will leave that to others. My involvement with Ian Wilson and my getting to know him happened after he left parliament. I often saw him at various functions. The father of the House mentioned May Gibbs, and I remember seeing Ian Wilson at functions involving children's literature. He also had a long involvement and long interest in the area of aged care and retirement villages.

Ian's faith was very important to him, and he had an involvement, I think, with St Matthew's Church at Kensington. I last spent a fair bit of time with him about 18 months ago, at a meeting of the Pioneers Association of South Australia. Ian had just come from a commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the sixth trip of John McDouall Stuart, who I think was also one of his forebears. That sixth trip was the successful trip, which crossed the Australian continent from south to north and back again. Ian was a good attender of functions in the electorate of Boothby—as was his mother, Lady Wilson. Most recently he had an involvement with us in taking up our consignment of wine. And we were very pleased to receive, in return, the Wilson wine, which was called Kerijani after the first two letters of the names of each of his four sons. I probably knew Nigel best when I was at school and I had a number of mutual friends with Nigel. But in more recent times, I have got to know Keith really quite well. His daughter and my son have been in the same class. His daughter and my daughter have been in the same softball team. So I have got to know Keith, the oldest son, and his wife, Sheree.

I was very pleased to attend the funeral at St Peter's Cathedral. It was a tremendous celebration of Ian's life. Baden Teague and Jennifer Cashmore spoke at the funeral—both retired politicians who had been involved with Ian from the start. There were many people there, including Pam Oborn, someone who was involved in setting up the Young Liberals in South Australia with Ian. Each of his four sons spoke. I would like to, again, give my condolences to Mary, Keith, Sheree, India, Richard, James and Nigel. I will miss Ian Wilson. He was a true gentleman and his contribution should be recognised.