BILL Shorten has invited Australians of all ages and backgrounds to come together and share their memories of late former Prime Minister Bob Hawke.
Mr Hawke died peacefully at his home on Thursday. He was 89.
Following an outpouring of grief, Mr Shorten on Friday invited all Australians to pay a personal tribute to Bob’s memory in a national condolence book that will be passed to his family.
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A copy of the book will also be kept in Labor’s archives “so that future generations can have a record of what Bob Hawke meant to all of us”, Mr Shorten said in an email to supporters on Friday morning.
The Australian people loved Bob because Bob loved them.
If you’d like to pay a personal tribute to Bob’s memory go to https://t.co/D6y9s3AiDo and we’ll share your message with his family.
— Bill Shorten (@billshortenmp) May 17, 2019
“Yesterday Australia lost one of its greatest,” Mr Shorten said.
“Bob Hawke gave his all to this country and Australians everywhere will be spending the days and weeks ahead remembering a man who inspired and helped so many.”
“Already there has been an outpouring of grief and sharing of cherished memories about Bob.
“If you would like to offer your condolences to the Hawke family you can leave your message here, as I have done.”
When I visited Bob last week, I tried to tell him what he meant to all of us. I couldn’t quite find the right words.
But Bob knew. He knew what he meant to Australia, he knew what he had achieved for the country. He knew he was loved, right to the end. pic.twitter.com/DVB3JL0V5S
— Bill Shorten (@billshortenmp) May 16, 2019
Mr Shorten said: “Bob was a source of inspiration in the labour movement – he drove us all to make Australia a kinder, better, bigger and bolder place.”
“Bob inspired me to get into politics, and he inspired the entire labour movement to fight for a fair go.
“Labor will continue that fight in his honour.”
— Australian Parliament House (@Aust_Parliament) May 16, 2019
Speaking to the ABC in Townsville on Friday morning, Prime Minister Scott Morrison described Mr Hawke as a man of “enormous intellectual capability”.
“His appeal was directly, I think, to the hearts and minds of each and every one Australian, and he had an ability to carry Australians with him because he understood them and he understood their aspirations,” Mr Morrison said.
“He was the last Labor leader I think who really did understand those aspirations in that very special way, he had a very unique talent for that”.
“He was an intellectual powerhouse, that was true, but he was able to combine that with his deep appreciation of his character and love of life.”
Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard also paid tribute to Bob, referring to him as the “greatest peacetime leader Australia has ever had”.
Bob Hawke was the greatest peacetime leader Australia has ever had.
As a teenager Bob inspired me, as a PM he guided me.
I will miss him. I wish so very much that Bob had been able to see one more election day.
My condolences to Blanche, his children and grandchildren. pic.twitter.com/4wPHdIeBUZ
— Julia Gillard (@JuliaGillard) May 16, 2019
If you want to contribute to the national condolence book by paying a personal tribute to Mr Hawke or sharing your memories of the ‘people’s PM’, click here.