Bill's Speeches

CONDOLENCE MOTION

CONDOLENCE MOTION

 

PASSING OF LESLIE ROYSTON JOHNSON AM

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, PARLIAMENT HOUSE

 

WEDNESDAY, 27 MAY 2015

 

*** CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY ***

Thank you Madam Speaker,

And I thank the Prime Minister for his generous words.

Labor mourns the passing of an honoured son of our party and a distinguished servant of our nation, Leslie Royston Johnson AM.

With the loss of Les Johnson, another giant of days gone, moves into history.

Les, as he was known to one and all, gave a quarter century of service to our Parliament and our nation: as the Member for Hughes, a Minister in the Whitlam Government and later Deputy Speaker.

Les Johnson was Labor to his bootstraps.

As a child, he knew the hardship of the Great Depression.

As a young man, aged 14, he went to work to support his family and later put himself through night school.

Les served in turbulent times, from ‘The Split’ to ‘the dismissal’.

In many ways he was made for them: he was tough, he was resolute and he was resilient.

He was a steadfast and forthright opponent of the war in Vietnam and along with being one of the first to speak against it in Parliament, he also visited allied forces in Vietnam at his own expense in 1966.

Les was also a strong supporter of independence for Bangladesh. His commitment was recognised in 2012 when that nation honoured him as a ‘special friend’.

The Labor Party offers our heartfelt condolences to his loved ones and friends.

We salute Les Johnson’s service, his passion and his never-fading faith in the light on the hill….may he rest in peace.

MEDIA CONTACT: LEADER OFFICE MEDIA UNIT – 02 6277 4053