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Tuesday, 19 August 1980
Page: 6

Mr Leo McLeay (GRAYNDLER, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I wish to say a few words about Arthur Greenup, a man whom I never knew as a parliamentarian but whom I knew as a trade union official. I think it is very important that when one talks about Arthur Greenup one remembers that he always began any biography of himself by saying that he was a shop assistant. At the age of 14 Arthur began his working life as a shop assistant and at the age of 78 - at the beginning of this month - he finished his life as an official of the shop assistants union. Arthur had seen many facets of the Labor movement and many facets of public life. He had been an alderman and mayor of Newtown, the member for Newtown-Annandale between 1950 and 1952 in the State Parliament of New South Wales and the Federal member for Dalley between 1953 and 1955.

As the honourable member for Hughes (Mr Les Johnson) has just pointed out to the Parliament, Arthur did not retire from politics when he retired from the Parliament in 1955. Indeed, as late as 1980 he was representing his union, the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association, at the Australian Labor Party conference in June this year. I have seen him over many years, as has the honourable member for Sydney (Mr Les McMahon), at the Labor Party conferences and Labor Council meetings in New South Wales. Arthur never missed a Thursday night meeting of the New South Wales Labor Council and he represented his union at those meetings for about SO years. That is a record that not many people would have in both the industrial and political movements.

I suppose if there was a way to sum up Arthur Greenup it would be to say that he was a gentleman. In the years that I have been in the Labor movement I have not met a man who was more of a gentleman. He took his enemies and his friends at face value. He served his country, his union and his party particularly well. I am very pleased today to say a few words about Arthur Greenup. He was a man who most of us might aspire to be like. He never said ill about anyone. He took adversity in his stride and he never gave up. To die at 78 years of age while still being very active in politics and in a union, and to give one's life to the things in which one has believed, is a very fine thing. I am very pleased to say that I knew Arthur Greenup in the years after he had served in Parliament and held public office. Even then, people held him in great respect. It could always be said that he stood up for the things in which he believed. As I said earlier, he could only be classified as a gentleman.

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

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