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The Honourable Lionel Frost Bowen AC



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T h e Honourab le L ionel F rost B owen AC

SUN 01 APRIL 2012

Prime Minister

The Prime Minister today paid tribute to the late Lionel B owen, whose long and remarkable life came to an end in Sydney this morning at the age of 89.

Mr B owen was a legend of Australian politics, who served with distinction in public life for 42 years across all three levels of government.

Lionel B owen was a good Labor man, who was passionate for the cause of social justice, and who was renowned for his integrity, honesty and fairness.

B ob Hawke once referred to Lionel B owen as “ a great Minister, a great mate and a great Australian” , a sentiment the whole nation can endorse today.

B orn into modest circumstances, Lionel B owen started his working life as a messenger boy at age 14 and worked his way up to becoming a respected lawyer before entering the NSW Parliament in 1962, moving to federal politics in the electorate of K ingsford-Smith in 1969.

He also served as an Alderman and Mayor on Randwick Municipal Council between 1948 and 1962.

Mr B owen was a highly-regarded and capable Minister in the Whitlam and Hawke governments 1972-75 and 1983-1990, playing a key role as a reforming Attorney General in the Hawke era.

Most important was Mr B owen’s role as Deputy Prime Minister alongside B ob Hawke, which he held from 1983 until his retirement in 1990. His loyalty, steadfastness and wise counsel were among the key ingredients for the success and stability of the Hawke era.

The Australian community has lost an outstanding leader, and the Labor Party has lost one of its finest sons.

On behalf of the nation, I extend my sincerest condolences to Mr B owen’s widow Claire, their eight children and his extended family.

Page 1 of 1 The Honourable Lionel Frost Bowen AC | Prime Minister of Australia

24/10/2012 http://www.pm.gov.au/press-office/honourable-lionel-frost-bowen-ac