Friday, November 02, 2007

Son of a preacher man

inCite, the ALIA members' magazine, recently featured an article about the Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre, based at the University of South Australia, which incorporates the Hawke Research Centre for Sustainable Societies, and the Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Library. As for the library, according to its website, it aims to identify, collect, conserve and make available for research and public access the Prime Minister's papers and memorabilia, those of his colleagues in public life, and related material from his times. It also seeks to foster the research and public programs of The Hawke Research Institute for Sustainable Societies by collecting in appropriate areas and providing information services. The Library provides a website for the Prime Ministerial Centre and facilitates its electronic and other publishing.

As a former Prime Minister of Australia, and Oxford University beer drinking record holder, Bob Hawke deserves to be accorded at least some respect, and his considerable contribution to Australian public life recognised and commemorated. The only other former Prime Ministers to be recognised in a similar way are Alfred Deakin, second Prime Minister of Australia (1903-4, 1905-8, 1909-10) and John Curtin (1941-1945), who led the nation during the darkest days of the Second World War. Should the opinion polls be accurate, and the Howard Government voted out of office on November 24th, will John Howard also be honoured with his own Prime Ministerial Library?

1 comment:

Miss Eagle said...

Sounds to me like the Hawke Centre is modelled on the American idea of a presidential library. As part of post-retirement plans for US presidents, each is entitled to build a library which would serve similar purposes to those outlined in your post. It sounds a little different from the Deakin and Curtin enterprises. They have actual universities named for them.

I'm a former student of St Mark's Theological Centre in Canberra. There the library is built around the library of a former Anglican bishop, Burgmann. He has a college at the ANU named after him as well. He was often known as the Red Bishop for his socialist proclivities. His granddaughter Meredith has recently retired as President of the Legislative Council of NSW.