Gough Whitlam celebrates his 98th birthday today.
Whitlam served as Labor Prime Minister from December 5, 1972 until his dismissal by the Governor-General on November 11, 1975. He was the nation’s 21st Prime Minister and is the longest-lived of all of them.
The ALP’s honorary historian and keeper of the party’s institutional memory, Senator John Faulkner, did not forget Whitlam’s birthday when he rose to speak in the Adjournment Debate last night. The speech followed a day of excitement in the Senate, although the drama seems pale by comparison for those of us who remember the Whitlam years.
Whitlam may be remembered now for the manner of his removal from office, but Faulkner makes clear that he is not defined by it. Faulkner said: “Tomorrow, 11 July, marks Gough’s 98th birthday, a time to celebrate his longevity, his resilience and his extraordinary contribution to this nation.”
- Listen to Faulkner’s speech (9m – transcript below)
- Watch Faulkner (9m)
Hansard transcript of Senator John Faulkner’s speech in the Adjournment Debate.
Senator FAULKNER (New South Wales) (18:36): A fortnight ago, The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Rupert Murdoch had once directed his editors to ‘kill Whitlam’. Notwithstanding that, I am delighted to report that Edward Gough Whitlam is very much alive. Tomorrow, 11 July, marks Gough’s 98th birthday, a time to celebrate his longevity, his resilience and his extraordinary contribution to this nation. [Read more...]