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Thursday, 28 August 1941

Senator COLLINGS (QueenslandLeader of the Opposition) - I am sure that no recent news has been received so sadly by members of the Senate as that which came through yesterday afternoon that ex-Senator Charles Hardy had met his death as the result of an aeroplane Accident in northern Queensland. Most members of this chamber knew the late Mr. Hardy very well. Many of his characteristics were admirable, particularly his conduct in the Senate. He was young, strong, and energetic, both physically and mentally. He never spoke on any important subject in this chamber unless he had fully prepared himself for the work. Whilst I and other members of the Opposition did not share his political outlook, we admired his courage and capacity, and his thoroughness in all that he did in connexion with his parliamentary duties. He had had a distinguished career, although only a comparatively short portion of his life had been devoted to parliamentary activities. Probably very few men of his age had experienced so much adversity as had the late Mr. Hardy, but whether he was faced with temporary ill health, adversity in business ventures or ill fortune in the political sphere, he always had a smile, and he met his friends and acquaintances with a hearty handshake and a cheery word. I recall with great pleasure my experiences with him in this Senate. When matters were not so easy with the Opposition as they have been during recent years owing to its increased strength the late Mr. Hardy would come into this chamber with a sheaf of notes that he had prepared, and, while checking them over, he would smile across the chamber at me. Despite the fact that we were in different political camps we were close friends. It was impossible to be other than friendly with Charlie Hardy, and, when I received the news of his death, I was deeply grieved. When the word passed around the parliamentary lobbies that he had met with an untimely death, every one of us was greatly shocked. When an old man dies one feels that the inevitable has arrived, but when a man in the prime of life passes, while serving his country and discharging duties which he had undertaken voluntarily, one is particularly sad.

The late Mr. Hardy loved Australia and was a true patriot. We extend our sympathy to his widow and children, whom he loved, and of whom he was very proud. Every member of the Opposition joins with the Leader of the Senate (Senator McLeay) in expressing his sympathy with the widow and family. Severe as the blow is, we hope that it will be tempered by the knowledge that those who were closely associated politically with the late Mr. Hardy appreciated his worth and feel his death deeply.

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