/Wonderful for Australia: Blanche dAlpuget says Hawkes death has galvanised nation

Wonderful for Australia: Blanche dAlpuget says Hawkes death has galvanised nation

Updated

May 17, 2019 12:53:14

Bob Hawke’s widow Blanche d’Alpuget says she is “doing well” in the wake of her husband’s death, which she believes has galvanised Australia with “a great outpouring of love”.

“Hello darlings,” a beaming Ms d’Alpuget said to reporters outside her Wollstonecraft home this morning as she showed Opposition Leader Bill Shorten out.

“I’m doing very well because people have been so wonderful.

“There’s been a great outpouring of love and it’s been very, very sustaining and energetic and I think it’s wonderful for Australia to remember that love is what you need.”

Ms d’Alpuget was fronting the cameras for the first time, less than 24 hours after her husband died, aged 89, yesterday.

Mr Hawke’s eight-year stint as prime minister ended in 1991.

That same year he announced he was leaving Hazel, his wife of 38 years, to marry Ms d’Alpuget.

Mr Shorten had taken time out of campaigning ahead of tomorrow’s federal election to visit her at her home, on Sydney’s lower north shore.

He was greeted at the door by former Labor minister Craig Emerson.

“I’ve had a lovely catch up with Blanche, she’s a very strong person and you can see why her and Bob had such great love,” Mr Shorten said on his way out.

Second great love story remembered

Mr Hawke’s daughter Sue Pieters-Hawke told ABC Radio Melbourne her father had a “gruesomely horribly rude temper” at times but was “actually a very gentle soul”.

“He was fiery, and he could sometimes misfire, but often it was righteous anger,” she said.

“Gregariousness was built into his nature.

“It wasn’t a put-on. He genuinely loved meeting people, talking to people, listening to people.

“Dad believed in the capacity to make an argument persistently and with intelligence and that people could listen and that could move things.”

She said her father’s capacity for listening was one of the reasons he’d been such a successful prime minister.

“He brought the best out in people — he was not jealous of talent around him.”

She said his marriage to her mother Hazel had been “a real love story” and they shared “a deep love” even after they divorced and he married his biographer, Ms d’Alpuget.

“I think my Dad was lucky enough to have a second great love story, with my step-mum, Blanche,” she said.

Topics:

government-and-politics,

federal-election,

death,

community-and-society,

wollstonecraft-2065,

nsw

First posted

May 17, 2019 11:55:47