“Inspirational to the end”: some kind words for Malcolm Fraser
Since news broke of the passing of former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser last Friday, 20th March, the museum has been a place where visitors and passers-by have come to leave messages in a condolence book. Throughout the past weekend visitors have paused by a large banner of Malcolm Fraser and then written thoughtful and heartfelt words on what he meant to them.
Many comments reflect the breadth of Malcolm Fraser’s passions, both while he was prime minister and in the years afterwards:
“One of the last true liberals. He understood Australia’s international role.”
“Thank you for helping to end Apartheid in South Africa.”
“RIP Mr Fraser, thank you for your warm welcome of refugees and heart.”
“Like a phoenix you rose from the ashes of the 1975 conflagration to a giant who demonstrated strength, courage, principle at a humanitarian level.”
One visitor’s comment reflected a view shared by many; that although they did not support Malcolm Fraser or his government’s policies at the time, his actions and beliefs in his post-political life won their wholehearted admiration:
“Found it difficult to admire or support you when you held office as PM. But am very grateful for your leadership and compassion in response to all kinds of humanitarian needs—our country is the poorer for our loss of you.”
A common thread among visitor comments was a recognition of different values, a more tolerant political climate, and the loss of someone who was an inspiration to many:
“I hope values return to our political life.”
“You helped shape an Australia we need to return to.”
“He stood for a better Australia.”
“A sadly missed ‘true’ Liberal.”
These messages for Malcolm Fraser show an understanding and gratitude for his life’s work which surpass individual grievances. Although it is clear that some visitors have disagreed with his actions years ago, the measure of Malcolm Fraser’s achievements shows in our visitors’ understanding of all that he did throughout his life.
Vale John Malcolm Fraser, Australia’s 22nd Prime Minister.