News People ‘A life triumphantly well lived’: Family, dignitaries and former prime ministers remember Hawke

‘A life triumphantly well lived’: Family, dignitaries and former prime ministers remember Hawke

Two thousand people packed the Sydney Opera Opera's concert hall on Friday. Photo: AAP
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Dignitaries, former politicians and prime ministers, and family, remember Robert James Lee Hawke AC.

Wife Blanche d’Alpuget:

“This memorial service marks the transition from the grief of loss to the celebration of a life triumphantly well lived.

“With today’s transformative service, we smile again, we glow with pride for the presence among us for almost 90 years of a great human being.”

Daughter Sue Pieters-Hawke:

“He was ambitious though not just for himself, he was ambitious for our nation. Bob was Labor to the core of his being, but his heart was too big to be contained by party lines,”

“In sifting through the memories, of course I should note that Dad’s public life overlapped with our private lives. I remember tramping the fields with him holding my hand as we visited many farmers before the 1963 Corio election.

“That night of the vote he woke me as promised to say he had done OK but lost. When I was puzzled, proceeded to explain the mechanics of DLP preferences to me. I was six!”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison:

“Father, husband, son, friend, grandfather, colleague, passionate Australian. The 23rd Prime Minister of Australia.

“We thank Bob Hawke for loving Australia and loving Australians with every fibre of his being, with every measure of his enormous enthusiasm, with every laugh, every tribute, every tear and every moment of his great devotion.”

Former prime minister Paul Keating:

“Much of the very late focus on my relationship with Bob was on the termination of cooperation between us and his displacement by me as leader.

“Any cursory observation of those events generally fails to comprehend the very high level of friendship and cooperation between us for those eight-and-a-half years. It lasted right to the end.”

Labor leader Anthony Albanese:

“Bob Hawke was not towering physically but somehow he seemed bigger than all of us.

“He was Australia amplified but he almost wasn’t part of our lives at all,” noting his brush with death while on a motorbike ride in 1947.

Former Labor leader Kim Beazley:

“He believed he would live in the hearts or at least the minds of those who knew him, then when we all pass, in the history books and stories of future generations, there he will reside while ever his nation abides.”

Impersonator Max Gillies:

“The last time I remember him being here he stepped off a barge, silver suit … I think he thought this was his place.

“He didn’t stand on ceremony but he wasn’t averse to ceremony.”

US Embassy Canberra:

“Bob Hawke will remembered as a great friend of the United States and a beloved and respected international leader. We mourn his loss alongside the Australian people.”

Grand-daughter Sophie Pieters-Hawke

“In 1989, Bob was handed some cabinet papers, requesting Australia’s support to open Antarctica to mining.

“He was horrified. But he was told that years of international negotiations could not be unwound. It was a done deal. “Bugger that” he said.

“Refusing to sign, Bob courted the world with an idea for something greater, better and fairer.

-with AAP/ABC