Prince Charles paid tribute to former Premier of New South Wales John Fahey, following his passing on 12 September 2020, aged 75.
Governor of New South Wales, Margaret Beazley AC QC, read the letter during his state funeral at St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney on 25 September 2020.
23rd September, 2020
It was with great sadness that I learned of the death of The Honourable John Fahey and I can only offer my heartfelt condolences to all those mourning his passing.
John’s service to New South Wales, and to Australia, was as rich and varied as it was distinguished, and his integrity and strength of character was, I know, greatly admired across the political divide. Whether as Premier of New South Wales, Minister of Finance in the Government of the Commonwealth of Australia, Member of the House of Representatives for the seat of Macarthur, Chancellor of the Catholic University of Australia or Councillor for the Royal Flying Doctor Service, John strove to improve the lives of Australians and his legacy will endure for generations.
For many Australians, John’s memory will forever be linked to that of Sydney’s hugely successful Olympic Games in 2000, having played such an essential role in the city’s winning bid in 1993. This month sees the twentieth anniversary of those very special Games, and I am sure that John would have wished to have been part of those celebrations and, perhaps, to repeat a leap of joy as he re-lived the famous moment of that announcement.
For my own part, as many people may remember, it was another great leap – one of quick thinking, determination and courage – for which I will always remain grateful to John. Coming to my assistance, as he so valiantly did, on that Darling Harbour stage on Australia Day 1994, John demonstrated not only characteristic selflessness and valour, but also the hallmark athleticism of a former Rugby League player. I was as fortunate to have him on my side that day as the people of New South Wales always were to have him on theirs.
However inadequate it may be, on such a very sad occasion, I particularly wanted to express my deepest sympathy to the people of New South Wales as you grieve the loss of a great Australian. As keenly as John Fahey’s passing will be felt by so many people, I trust he will be remembered with the same deep affection he inspired in all who knew him.
HRH The Prince of Wales
John Fahey State Funeral
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, only family and invited guests were invited whilst the broader community were invited to watch the live stream of the State Funeral and sign the online condolence book.
See the State Funeral via the NSW Government’s YouTube Channel.
Her Excellency the Governor reads Prince Charles’ letter from about 19.25 to 22:27 minutes.
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