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Tuesday, 21 August 1984
Page: 28


Senator Sir JOHN CARRICK —It is always very sad when someone in mid-life, in the midst of a family, goes from us. It is doubly sad in the case of Phillip Lynch, who had so much more to offer, having given so much. To be a little sentimental for a moment, I wrote to Leah after the funeral. I had been very privileged to have seen something of Phillip during his latter weeks. I reminded Leah of some words that Shakespeare said so much better than we could:

. . . he died as one that had been studied in his death

To throw away the dearest things he owed

As 'twere a careless trifle.

If ever I saw a man throw away the dearest thing he owned as though it were a careless trifle, it was Phillip Lynch. He gave a message to us all. In fact, sometimes some of us would do well to be humbled in our arrogance in the presence of the resolution, the courage and the faith of the man. It was good to see those qualities symbolised in those days. Indeed, if there is goodness in seeing someone snatched away, it was good at the funeral to learn from the magnificent tributes paid to Phillip for the warmth and the measure of the man.

When we are paying tributes here to former parliamentarians we tend to talk about public life, but the real tragedy of loss is the tragedy of loss in private life-in this case the loss to Leah and to the boys-and the loss to us of a friend. As parliamentarians we tend not to look at the magnitude of goodness and the fine qualities of others but at the pimple on the nose. It is not a bad thing, occasionally, to be able to stand up here and say-I use Shakespeare again , this time four words from another play, Julius Caesar-'He was a man'. That is a great tribute to pay.

Yes, I walked with him, although for not quite as long as Alan Missen. I remember him as a young man, a young Liberal, who came to me as National President of the Junior Chamber of Commerce and said: 'John, I have a problem. I have an international conference of the JCC in Sydney at the Town Hall. Will you help me?' I watched the measure of the man there. I saw the respect in which he was held. I journeyed with him. He was a great organisational man, a man with a great understanding of his Party's organisation and of the need to do the back room work that makes the party. A number of honourable senators have paid tribute to his work in that regard. Alan Missen has paid tribute to his work on the Party's platform. I do not know how many hundreds of hours were put in on it .

I saw Sir Phillip in each of his phases. When I sat alongside him in Cabinet I shared vicariously the puff of his cigar smoke and got to know the man very well indeed in the stress and the strain of things. It is in that spirit that I offer through you, Mr President, to Leah and to Sir Phillip's sons my condolence. I also reminded Leah, when I wrote to her after the funeral, of the tribute paid by the son of Sir Christopher Wren to his great architect father which is inscribed on, I think, the north door of the Chapel of St Paul's Cathedral. It is written in Latin, but translated rather roughly it says:

If you would seek his monument, look around you.

I think that is worth saying of Sir Phillip Lynch because we find his monument in the things he has done and in the hearts and the minds of his friends.