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Tuesday, 25 June 1996
Page: 2155


Senator COONEY(7.02 p.m.) —Mr Acting Deputy President, since coming into the parliament almost a dozen years ago, I have received magnificent guidance and assistance from those men and women whom the Commonwealth has engaged to help parliamentarians do their duty. My perception is that the vast majority, if not all, of my colleagues both in the Senate and in the House of Representatives have had the same experience.

Comcar drivers are among the best of the people of whom I have spoken, and Graeme Barry McLennan was amongst the best of those drivers. Accordingly, it is with much sadness that I come into the Senate this evening to speak of his death.

Graeme died suddenly on 19 June 1996. His funeral took place in Melbourne today. I would like to say how sorry I am for his wife Kylie and his son Callum as they go through the suffering of Graeme's loss.

Graeme worked with Comcar for nearly a quarter of a century. He began there on 10 July 1972 and finished on 7 June 1995. Graeme saw to the setting up of the Comcar Museum in Melbourne. It contains many articles from across the time the organisation has been operating. They illustrate the highs and lows of a service which at its best has been second to none.

Graeme was secretary of the social club for 10 years. This, too, illustrates his dedication to Comcar. During that time he organised the functions held to honour drivers on the occasion of their retirements. He arranged Christmas parties which were large in scale and larger still in success.

Graeme served Australia as a member of its fighting force in Vietnam. Things have not always been as good for soldiers returned from Vietnam as they have been for those coming back from earlier wars. Graeme had this fact forever in mind and did much for his former comrades in arms.

I had many conversations with Graeme over the years and got to know him well. His passing away is a sorrowful occasion, but he has passed away a good and honourable man. He served his country well, both in war and in peace.