Saturday, September 12, 2020

Tributes flow after death of an ordinary extraordinary bloke: John Fahey

During my two decades as the Crown Employee at the NSW Parliamentary Bear Pit most parliamentary staffers of all political leanings wanted to work politicians like John Fahey ... You could count on two hands good bosses who treated staff well Mike Egan and handful others were like John Fahey. Fair. Family orientated. Friendly. He would always walk with a big smile into the glass doors of the parliamentary library ...

I started the same day with Marlene in November 1982 at Parliament House and Marlene had the pleasure to work with John for many years in the late 1980s and 1990s.

The John Fahey I knew: A people's premier with a determination to serve

John Fahey and the Sydney Olympics bid's chief executive Rod McGeoch celebrate in Monaco as Sydney is announced as the winner in 1993.

John Fahey and the Sydney Olympics bid's chief executive Rod McGeoch celebrate in Monaco as Sydney is announced as the winner in 1993.CREDIT:PALANI MOHAN

Australian leaders from across the political spectrum have paid tribute to former NSW Liberal premier and federal government finance minister John Fahey, who died on Saturday morning at the age of 75.

Mr Fahey played a crucial role in Sydney's bid to host the Olympics in 2000 during his time as state premier between 1992 and 1995 and later moved into Federal Parliament, where he served as finance minister in John Howard's government before retiring from politics in 2001 due to ill health.

Mr Fahey served as premier from 1992-1995 and helped deliver major reforms for the state.

John Fahey was an optimist, who believed in Australia, because he knew how much it had enabled him in his own life."

NSW Liberal Party president Philip Ruddock said the Sydney Olympics would be one of Mr Fahey's lasting legacies.

"Having served with John in Federal Parliament, I knew him to be one of the most humble and honourable people who ever served our state and nation."

Labor leader Anthony Albanese said Mr Fahey was "well regarded by everyone" and didn't think he "had an enemy in the national Parliament".

"He was someone who dealt with you with respect, even though you were someone on the opposite side of politics," Mr Albanese said.

Former NSW premier John Fahey, who helped bring the Olympics to Sydney, dies aged 75

A man talking.
Both sides of politics are paying tribute to John Fahey after his death at the age of 75.(AAP: Julian Smith)

Former NSW premier John Fahey, one of the key figures in bringing the Olympics to Sydney, has died aged 75. 

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian confirmed the news on Saturday morning, saying: "His contribution to the state and nation will leave a lasting legacy. 

"He has always been a wonderful role model to generations of Liberals," Ms Berejiklian added. 

One of the most notable achievements during his tenure from 1992 to 1995 was his role in the successful bid for Sydney to host the 2000 Olympics.

'Why Wish to Be Consoled?'

On April 30, 1933, after fifty-eight days of illness, Iris Origo’s seven-year old son Gianni died of tubercular meningitis. He was her only child, though she and her husband, Antonio Origo, would later have two daughters. George Santayana had been a friend and tutor of Origo’s father, Bayard Cutting, at Harvard. In May 1933, Santayana wrote her a remarkable letter of consolation:

“We have no claim to any of our possessions. We have no claim to exist; and, as we have to die in the end, so we must resign ourselves to die piecemeal, which really happens when we lose somebody or something that was closely intertwined with our existence. It is like a physical wound; we may survive, but maimed and broken in that direction; dead there. Not that we can, or ever do at heart, renounce our affections. Never that.”