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Tuesday, 16 April 1985
Page: 1022


Senator PUPLICK —It might seem paradoxical given my age, but I had the honour and privilege of knowing Sir Kenneth Anderson for a period of years going back to 1970 when, as a very junior member of the staff of a Minister in the House of Representatives, it was my responsibility to maintain a liaison with Sir Kenneth Anderson and his office in his capacity as a Minister representing in the Senate. During that time, in the first couple of years of the 1970s, I was fairly closely associated with Sir Kenneth in his parliamentary role. The nature of his distinguished public life has been referred to already by honourable senators and was, I think, particularly and with a great deal of feeling and eloquence remarked on by Senator Sir John Carrick a matter of a few days ago when he spoke at Sir Kenneth's memorial service at St Stephen's Church in Sydney.

However, I want to mention one aspect of Sir Kenneth's life and career which is of significance, that is, that part of his public career which took place after he left this place. In a period of some difficulty and turmoil within the New South Wales division of the Liberal Party, Sir Kenneth Anderson was persuaded to take on for a number of years the role of State President. He fulfilled that role with an enormous degree of dignity and integrity under circumstances which were extraordinarily difficult at the time. Much of the strength and vitality of the New South Wales division of the Liberal Party which I represent owes much to the period in which Sir Kenneth served as State President of our division after leaving this chamber.

The one thing that perhaps touches me most closely is that Sir Kenneth made a a particular effort to encourage younger members of the Party in New South Wales to offer themselves for and seek parliamentary careers. Whether they were persons such as myself or the Hon. John Hannaford, member of the Legislative Council in New South Wales, Sir Kenneth went out of his way to encourage younger members of the Liberal Party to involve themselves not only in party activities but also in community activities and in taking the Liberal Party into the wider community. Only a person who had a vision plus a commitment to a farsighted dream about the way in which our community should operate would have been inspired in the way in which Sir Kenneth was, to seek out people who he believed ought to involve themselves in giving the sort of service in peace time and in party activities which he had given both in war time and in peace time and which he gave consistently to his Party, to which he had great dedication and indeed love. In his capacity as State President, in the way in which he and his wife maintained their home in Ryde and their holiday home at Bilgola as a regular open house for members of the Party-again, as I say, particularly encouraging younger members of the Party to meet and, above all, to learn from him and his experiences-he made a very great contribution.

I therefore associate myself with the remarks which have been made, to express my personal feelings in the matter and to say to Madge and to his daughter Robyn and son-in-law Roger that there are many members of the Liberal Party throughout New South Wales who drew from Sir Kenneth a great deal of their commitment and a great deal of their dedication to service of one's community and one's country. They learnt much at the feet of Sir Kenneth Anderson.

Question resolved in the affirmative, honourable senators standing in their places.