People Are Remembering Their Favourite Bob Hawke Moment And They're All Bloody Brilliant
The late Bob Hawke served as Australia's Prime Minister from 1983 to 1991 and in that time he captured Australia's hearts and minds for being a down to earth larrikin that could connect with the people as well as pull the country in the right direction.
Sadly, he died last night at the age of 89.
In the hours since his death was announced, people have been remembering their favourite moment of his - and there are plenty.
It's hard not to start with his speech following Australia's win at the America's Cup sailing race in 1983 when he had only just been elected. He declared a national holiday and was seen wearing a white jacket with the word 'Australia' written all over it.
But it was what he told the people that immortalised him in the history books.
"I tell you what, any boss who sacks anyone for not turning up today is a bum!" Mr Hawke said, followed by rapturous applause.
"You have to work a bit harder the next day to make up...it's a day for all Australians, it's a day [that] brings us all together. Marvellous, absolutely marvellous."
Mr Hawke was also praised throughout his life for being a man who could skol a beer. Whether that be in the form of a yard glass during an event or sinking a schooner at the cricket, he was never not able to knock back a cold one.
He admitted that he gave up alcohol when he was working with the ACTU and when he entered parliament.
"I just said to myself, 'If you're going to become prime minister of this country you can't afford ever to be in a position where you can make a fool of yourself or of your country', and I never had a drop for the whole period I was in parliament," he said.
But we all know that once he was out of power, his drinking prowess grew and grew.
ABC political journalist Barrie Cassidy told a recent story that seems so Hawkey.
The Americans. The football. The pub. The car full of young blokes.@barriecassidy shares a recent and largely unknown story about Bob Hawke that stunned a group of visiting US dignitaries.- News Breakfast (@BreakfastNews) May 16, 2019
"They couldn't believe a former prime minister would do that." pic.twitter.com/SsOc07k53R
Cassidy was recently at the MCG with the former Prime Minister and a bunch of senior American politicians. As they were leaving the event Hawke decried to Cassidy that he hated getting on buses because it takes so long.
Just as he said that, a car of strangers drove past and said: "Hey Hawkey, you're a legend."
Without skipping a beat, he said: "Well, if I'm such a friggin legend, give me a lift back to the pub."
Cassidy said the American politicians couldn't believe a former Prime Minister would jump in a car full of randoms without a care for his personal security.
One woman shared her story of how she wrote to Mr Hawke when he was PM and spoke about how she was struggling with her grandma's death.
His reply was equal parts heart warming and touching.
As a child struggling with my Nan's death, I wrote to PM Bob Hawke, to help my young mind understand why we die. His letter back to me is my most treasured childhood memory! #RIPBobHawke #votesoutforBOB pic.twitter.com/kqpEIYZKmq- TraceyCorbinMatchett (@traceycm74) May 16, 2019
"Some people die because of unfortunate accidents, sometimes because they become so ill that doctors are unable to help them recover," Mr Hawke wrote.
"Perhaps when we grow very old our bodies get worn out, or certain parts break down, like parts in an old car.
"None of us can be sure of how long we will live. Because this is so I think you should try not to think too much about dying but think about all the nice things around you that make life so precious to us all."
What an absolute legend.
He was also praised for granting asylum to all Chinese students in Australia after the Tiananmen Square massacre.
30 years ago he granted asylum to all #Chinese students in Australia after #Tiananmen Sq massacre. My mum was one of them. My family are forever grateful for this opportunity to live and thrive in this beautiful and democratic country. #BobHawkeRIP pic.twitter.com/y0WF90GLAL- Maree Ma (@maree_jun) May 16, 2019
One woman whose mum was one of those students said: "My family are forever grateful for this opportunity to live and thrive in this beautiful and democratic country."
There are plenty other examples of how Bob Hawke helped people inside and outside of his political life that this article could go on for thousands of words. But it's nice to know that he left a pretty big imprint in Australian's hearts.
RIP Bob Hawke, a true Aussie icon.
Featured Image Credit: Channel 9