Friday, June 25, 2010

NSW Parliament remembers Don Day

In Deaths of Paul Johnstone, Don Day I talked a little about the history of that doughty North Coast Labor member Don Day, a man I fought against at one point because of his opposition to New England self-government. I was opposed to him, but had a high regard for him. 

In that post I mentioned that I met daughter Jenny at UNE. Though one of those lovely coincidences that make the internet so powerful, Jenny saw my story and contacted me. That's nice, because Jenny and I share so many things.

Jenny emailed me to let me know that Don's death had been recorded in debate in the NSW Legislative Assembly. You will find the Hansard here.

One thing that I thought was nice was the way National (previously Country) Party members spoke of Don's death. To quote Steve Cansdell, National Member for Clarence:

I recently attended the funeral of Don Day and was struck by the deep love and respect expressed in eulogies by his sons and grandchildren who spoke on behalf of the family. It was very touching. As I said, if I can finish my stint in Parliament with as much respect as a politician I will be a very proud man, but if I can finish my life with the same love and respect of my family as Don took with him I will believe I have done a great job. Congratulations to Don on being such a great man and the loving family person he was, and also on being, in politics, a very uncompromising and hard man to deal with if you stood against him.

City people sometimes find it hard to understand why country parliamentarians have such a high regard for their opponents. I think in the country parliamentarians actually have a much closer relationship with their electorates. As part of this, they actually understand and respect their opponents at a personal level. As I did in a small way (talking about time, not respect) with Don Day.


Just drove eldest (Helen) to work. I told her about this post and the background story.

One of the really nice things about this blog, and others like like it, is the way that it helps knit together the past. For most of us, to be a New Englander is to leave. Some come back, most don't. There aren't the jobs. Those who leave lose access to their past, to many of their links, the things that make up that past home. Their children can lose total context.

Each in their own small way, this blog and others like it play a small role in rebuilding the links destroyed by time and relocation. I think that that's nice. Certainly, its rewarding.     

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