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Tuesday, 17 August 1993
Page: 37


Senator FERGUSON —I rise to speak briefly. I wish to be associated with this condolence motion for Sir Condor Laucke. I particularly wish to place on record that I knew Sir Condor Laucke, but I had met him on only several occasions.

  Sir Condor Laucke was the government whip in the South Australian parliament when my father entered state parliament in 1963. I still well remember my father's words after his being in parliament a short time. He came home and said, `Condor Laucke is a gentleman and a gentle man', and I think that he will be remembered by South Australians and certainly by his colleagues as both a gentleman and a gentle man. In 1965, when he lost his seat in state parliament, I remember my father coming home and saying, `Well, my boy, you haven't seen the last of Condor Laucke'. That proved to be a fact in later years when he sought preselection for the Senate, entered the Senate and then made a major contribution in this place both as a senator and later as the President of the Senate. His contributions were then recognised when he became Lieutenant-Governor of South Australia.

  My colleagues have detailed all of his activities. I do not want to go over any of that ground, except to place on record the achievements of Sir Condor Laucke. Above all, I think his greatest achievement was the way in which he was known and loved in his own Barossa Valley by his family and those he came in contact with closely. He was respected and put a tremendous amount of effort into the life of that valley, particularly the three major towns that are concerned; he will long be remembered in the Barossa Valley as one of their greatest sons. In addition to recognising his contribution to the Senate and certainly the connections that he had with my own father, I would like to extend my sympathy to his widow, Lady Rose, and his family.


The PRESIDENT —The day that Condor Laucke was first elected as President of the Senate was my first day in the chamber, along with Senator Colston. I can also say to Senator Chapman that the newspaper report he referred to was completely wrong. My first impression of Condor Laucke was that he was a courteous gentleman, and that impression never changed. As a new senator I felt that he went out of his way to assist me. At the end of every session I usually received an invitation to his office to try out his new vintage, which he then distributed to all senators at our farewell function.

  When I look back, like Senator Colston, I feel that at times I felt sorry for him. I think that when the then Leader of the Government, Senator Withers, was in full flight, he tried Condor's patience, secure in the knowledge that he had an absolute majority.

  Fortunately, I was able to attend Condor's funeral. As has been said, former Senate presidents McClelland, Sir Harold Young and Justin O'Byrne were all present. I do have one regret and that is that when we tried to organise a function last year which Sir Magnus Cormack and all of the living presidents of the Senate would be able to attend, unfortunately, Condor was too ill and the function never took place. I was able to attend the funeral and extend my sympathy to his wife Rose and his family and, therefore, I associate myself with this condolence motion. I ask all senators to stand in silence to signify their assent to the motion.

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