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Thursday, 17 March 1966

Mr CALWELL (Melbourne) (Leader of the Opposition) . - The Opposition wishes to be associated with the resolution of regret at the death of Senator Sherrington and the sympathy to be tendered to his widow and his four daughters and one son. I did not know Senator Sherrington very well. I had a few brief conversations with him. The last time he was here I sought him out to offer the sympathy of my colleagues and myself in the illness from which he was suffering and which, I was told, would be fatal. 1 did not need to mention to Senator Sherrington that he was a man whose days were limited, because he told me so himself. He told me with great fortitude and splendid courage that he knew he would not live long, but he had no regrets. Talking to a man who is dying is a strange experience, especially when he says that he is dying. It is difficult to know just how to carry on a conversation. There is no use saying to him: " I hope you will get better". But I said it and I meant it. I hoped that a miracle might happen in his case, but he was certain in his mind that that was his last visit to Canberra. I gave him all the suport and encouragement I could in his really dreadful predicament.

He was a man who served Queensland and Australia very well. I did not know of his association with the cane industry until I was given some notes about his life. He started as a chemist, became a cane inspector and eventually a cane grower. He not only knew cane growing but he took an interest in public affairs. He served his own political party and Queensland to the best of his ability in the various organizations that he felt commanded his attention and Reserved his support. To his widow and children we offer our heartfelt sympathy. We hope that the sympathy of their friends will help them in their dire trouble at this time and that the memory of a devoted husband and good father will reconcile them, if one can be reconciled to death, to an acceptance of the divine will in this matter, sad as it is.

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