WHYTE, HON. A.M.

The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS(14:58:24): I rise to support this motion. My first memory of the Hon. Arthur Whyte was meeting him when I was a schoolboy and he had not long been elected to this place. He and my father served together in the Legislative Council for 16 years. During that time, Mary and my mother shared a friendship, and I am delighted to say that the extended connection that has gone over the years between the Whyte and Dawkins (including Schaefer) families was extended today when my granddaughter met Mary. I think that was just an extra extension of that connection. Obviously Caroline and I served in this place for about 12½ years, I think, but Caroline and I had a strong friendship well before both of us came to this place, actually.

We have had some really good summaries of the man that Arthur Whyte was, the member of his community both around Kimba and the broader Eyre Peninsula and across South Australia, but also of the way in which he operated, particularly in the parliament. We have heard the stories that the Leader of the Government and others and I think the Hon. Rob Lucas have told about the legendary rolling of the cigarette while he was driving. My father used to tell vivid stories about those experiences. You have to remember that my father and Arthur, while they had a great friendship, had not a lot in common in that Arthur obviously liked a smoke and a drink and my father never smoked in his life and he was a teetotaller. Despite those differences, they got on very well.

I remember the vivid stories of going over to Eyre Peninsula with Arthur and going to meetings at night in various communities on Eyre Peninsula, whether they be Liberal Party meetings or community meetings, followed by late-night long drives back on unsealed roads. Those familiar with Eyre Peninsula in those days will remember the infamous Lock-Elliston Road, and the even more infamous Kimba-Cleve Road. Driving on those roads was dangerous enough in the daylight, let alone in the dark when you were rolling a cigarette with your only arm. But my father survived that, as obviously Arthur did.

I have always admired Arthur's fantastic knowledge of outback South Australia and particularly the pastoral industry. I do not think there was a station in South Australia that he did not know personally. He seemed to know who had been on that station, who was on it now and who they were related to. Most of us know that a lot of the pastoral families are quite interrelated, and Arthur could always tell you who was related to whom in outback South Australia.

I have a lasting memory of an evening at Enterprise House, where the State Council of the Liberal Party used to meet quite often, an evening where Arthur Whyte was honoured for his long service to the Liberal Party. Arthur stood up, and one of the things he said (and he directed to a lot of the younger members of our party) was that, while the Liberal Party was far from perfect and that he had disagreed with the party position on a lot of occasions, it was the closest thing by far to the political views that he held and the principles he stood for. I have always kept that in my mind at various times when you have to deal with some issues where perhaps your party position is not as easy to support as some others.

Arthur's principles, reflected in that view I think, were demonstrated in his influence on the continuing strength of the Kimba branch of the Liberal Party. Anybody who has ever been on preselection for an upper house seat would know that the Kimba branch would always meet when you came to town and put you through your paces, invariably in the Kimba Community Hotel, but that branch in many more ways I think has been a very strong entity in that community and has produced a large number of members of parliament for a branch of that size. With those words, I add my heartfelt sympathy to Mary and the Whyte family.

Motion carried by members standing in their places in silence.

Sitting suspended from 15:05 to 15:25 .