Bill's Speeches

PASSING OF GORDON DARLING


STATEMENT ON INDULGENCE

PASSING OF GORDON DARLING


 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

MONDAY, 7 SEPTEMBER 2015

 

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Mr Speaker

 

With the passing of Gordon Darling, our arts community has lost a generous benefactor, a creative visionary, and one half of one of our nation’s most formidable philanthropic partnerships.

 

For all his tremendous success in the world of business, it is Gordon Darling the art-lover and patron that we remember today.

 

Gordon and his beloved wife Marilyn, devoted their energies to the promotion of Australian art.

 

As Chairman of the Australian National Gallery, he financed the Australia Pacific Print Fund, allowing the national collection to acquire more than 7000 prints.

The first exhibition Gordon and Marilyn convened in 1989, called Uncommon Australians, was the catalyst for what we all now celebrate as the National Portrait Gallery.

 

Gordon worked tirelessly to attract funding and support for his idea – and from temporary accommodation in the National Library, then Old Parliament House, he secured the collection a permanent home, in that marvellous building that attracts and enchants so many visitors.

 

Mr Speaker

 

In a statement paying tribute to Gordon’s memory, the chair of the National Portrait Gallery, Helen Nugent, and its director, Angus Trumble, said that if the magnificent home of the National Portrait Gallery could be compared to St Paul’s Cathedral - then Gordon Darling was Chrisopher Wren.

 

And those two men, separated by history and distance, could rightly share the same epitaph.

 

“If you seek his monument, look around you”

 

This is the great gift of philanthropy – the good that lives on for all to see, long after you are gone.

 

Mr Speaker

 

Gordon Darling will never truly be lost to our nation.

 

The generosity he inspired – the priceless treasures he secured - will ensure his legacy lodges in the hearts of all Australians moved by the magic of art.

 

Here, in the city to which he made an everlasting contribution, we honour the work of Gordon Darling and give thanks for the life he led.

 

We offer our deep sympathies to his wife Marilyn, his family, friends and loved ones.

 

May he rest in eternal peace.

 

ENDS

 

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