Gough Whitlam has delivered the eulogy for Sir James Killen at his funeral service at St. John’s Cathedral, Brisbane.
Killen died last week at the age of 81. A Member of Parliament for the House of Representatives Division of Moreton from 1955 until 1983, Killen served as Defence Minister in the Fraser Government.
In his eulogy, Whitlam said: “Jim Killen was a proud Australian parliamentarian and a great one. In his career Parliament was as significant as the ministerial offices he held with distinction. His influence, his abiding interest in the great affairs of our country, his fascination with the intricate interplay of the political machinery, his knowledge of and respect for the Constitution, all came from his love of Parliament. He understood completely the indispensable role of strong political parties as the mainstay of our parliamentary democracy.”
This is the text of the Eulogy delivered by Gough Whitlam at the state funeral of Sir James Killen, at St John’s Cathedral, Brisbane.
The last time I spoke in public about Jim Killen was at the Irish Club on 19 November 2005, his 80th birthday.
The last Jim spoke in public about me was in Sydney last July, my 90th birthday.
Between those two public occasions, we spoke to each other by phone, regularly and almost religiously, usually Sunday, as indeed we had done for more than a decade, and were to do almost to the end.