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Bob Hawke’s Memorial Draws Thousands To The Sydney Opera House

Former Labor Prime Minister Bob Hawke passed on at May 16, aged 89. The Sydney Opera House was host to one of the most notable funeral services in Sydney history, with Hawke’s widow, Blanche d’Alpuget, delivering the final tribute at the service.

Notably, the event was fairly joyous, with the final message asking people to smile again, following the weeks of grieving that was immediate aftermath of the former PM’s death, who passed in his Sydney home.

d’Alpuget says that the memorial service should mark the transition from grief at the loss to the celebration of the former PM’s life, a full life, lived well. With this service, he says, Aussies should smile again, and be proud of how long Hawke lived.

During the memorial, one of the biggest funeral services in Sydney, d’Alpuget was surrounded by Hawke’s kids and grandkids, as well as a group of dignitaries, as well as the general public.

Notably, in attendance was current PM Scott Morrison, alongside former Aussie PMs; Paul Keating, Kevin Rudd, Tony Abbott, John Howard, and, Malcolm Turnbull. Other notable figures at the memorial was Federal Labor’s Anthony Albanese, and Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove.

Mr. Hawke’s close friend and confidant, his described economic, environmental and horse racing advisor, Craig Emerson acted as Master of Ceremonies during the service, which was opened by the Indigenous Federal Labor MP Linda Burney, with a traditional welcome to Australia.

Following that were tributes to the former PM, with Mr. Albanese describing Hawke as a giant that was a true public servant for Aussies, among other words of admiration from the politicians, and notable Aussies in the Opera House.

The Sydney Symphony Orchestra also played several musical tributes during the memorial, including, among other notable pieces, the chorus of George Frideric Handel’s Messiah and Men at Work’s Down Under.

The memorial had free tickets being given away in the Opera House, including spots on the landmark’s steps outside, with the free tickets all being taken within the first half-hour of them being given away.

Preceding the state memorial, Mr. Hawke’s family held a private funeral in his honour.


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