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Wednesday, 12 February 2014
Page: 212


Mr HUTCHINSON (Lyons) (13:56): People in my electorate of Lyons in Tasmania—and indeed Australia—witnessed the end of a political era just prior to Christmas with the passing of Jeanette Elizabeth Duthie. Mrs Duthie, who was 95, was the wife of Tasmanian political legend Gil Duthie. Mr Duthie was the federal member for the Tasmanian seat of Wilmot from September 28, 1946 until 13 December, 1975. The Wilmot electorate's name was changed to Lyons in 1984. Wilmot's and Lyon's constituents have always chosen their federal representatives with care.

Many politicians, both at federal and state level and of all political persuasions, have modelled themselves on Gil Duthie's political way of doing things. Detailed in his book I Had 50,000 Bosses: Memoir of a Labor Backbencher, new candidates are still advised that the only way to win Lyons is the Gil Duthie way: by doorknocking until your shoe leather has worn out and then by buying new shoes and doing it all over again. Mr Duthie, a former Methodist minister, was also renowned for his integrity and his unrelenting campaigning on behalf of the people.

His family paid tribute to the part their mother played in his long and impressive political career in the days following his passing. Mr and Mrs Duthie's daughter Jan said that she and her sisters, Colleen and Denise, had been talking only this week about the way that their mother had supported Mr Duthie in all the 29 years he was in politics. She said that Mrs Duthie was a quiet and reserved sort of person who had suddenly been thrust into a very public role as the wife of a federal politician. (Time expired)