The daughter of John Fahey has shared a moving tribute to her father, as dignitaries from across the country pay their respects to the former NSW premier.
The daughter of John Fahey has shared a moving tribute to her father, as dignitaries from across the country pay their respects to the former NSW premier.

‘Proud to be your daughter’: John Fahey farewelled

The daughter of John Fahey has described her pride and love for the former NSW premier in an emotional tribute at his state funeral today.

Melanie Fahey Cicala could not attend and shared her video message from the US.

Mr Fahey, who died last month age 75, is being farewelled at St Mary's Cathedral in Sydney at ceremony attended by former and current prime ministers, premiers and business leaders.

"My earliest and fondest memory of you is during my attendance of St Paul's primary school in Camden," Ms Cicala said in her tribute.

 

John Fahey, former NSW premier, pictured with family in 1992.
John Fahey, former NSW premier, pictured with family in 1992.

 

 

"On the days you were practising law, and would be in court across the street from the school, during lunch I would drag all my friends from the front gate and wait for court to recess so I could catch a glimpse of you.

"I would stand there waiting until you appeared and then at the top of my voice I would yell 'Dad, Dad, Dad!' and you would excuse yourself from your clients, cross the street and give me a kiss and then pat each of my friends across the head and tell us to learn big and may god bless you.

"I was so incredibly proud of you then, all the way through the tough times of teenageville, early adulthood, the lost years and never prouder to be your daughter today."

Former NSW premier John Fahey, with his wife Colleen Fahey, after being honoured with a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Gregory Picture: Dylan Robinson
Former NSW premier John Fahey, with his wife Colleen Fahey, after being honoured with a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Gregory Picture: Dylan Robinson

Ms Cicala said despite her father urging her to find her happiness in America, "now more than ever, there is no place like home".

"As soon as possible, I will get home to mum, I will chill that sauvignon blanc, I will break out the Bombay gin and as we continue to love you deeply and remember all your fantastic ways, we will shut the balcony down and cheers to you."

Mr Fahey's granddaughter Amber, who he cared for since the death of his own daughter Tiffany who died in 2006, also delivered a reading.

Mr Fahey and his wife Colleen cared for Tiffany's children Campbell and Amber after she died in a tragic accident on Boxing Day 2006 after hitting a guardrail on the M5.

 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison (left) and wife Jenny Morrison (centre) are seen arriving at the funeral for the former NSW Premier. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Bianca De Marchi
Prime Minister Scott Morrison (left) and wife Jenny Morrison (centre) are seen arriving at the funeral for the former NSW Premier. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Bianca De Marchi

Mr Fahey served as premier from 1992 to 1995 and dedicated almost two decades of his life in service to NSW and Australia. He died last month, age 75.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his wife Jenny, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, and former prime ministers John Howard, Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott have gathered at the cathedral to pay their respects.

Governor-general David Hurley, former NSW premier Nick Greiner, Australian Olympic Committee President John Coates, broadcaster Alan Jones and former premiers Kristina Keneally, Bob Carr are also in attendance.

 

The casket of former premier John Fahey arrives at St Mary, s Cathedral. Picture: Nick Moir
The casket of former premier John Fahey arrives at St Mary, s Cathedral. Picture: Nick Moir

 

In a message from Prince Charles, read out by NSW Governor Margaret, Mr Fahey was praised for improving the lives of Australians.

"It was with great sadness, that I learned of the death of the honourable John Fahey, and I can only offer my heartfelt condolences to all those mourning his passing," the letter read.

"John's service to NSW and to Australia was as rich and varied as it was distinguished and his integrity and strength of character was I know, greatly admired across the political divide.

"John strove to improve the lives of Australians and his legacy will endure for generations."

 

Charles, Prince of Wales (right) with then NSW Governor Rear Admiral Peter Sinclair, and premier John Fahey during a visit by the Royals in 1994.
Charles, Prince of Wales (right) with then NSW Governor Rear Admiral Peter Sinclair, and premier John Fahey during a visit by the Royals in 1994.

 

**This picture has a scanned reverse – see associated content at the bottom of the details window** John Fahey, former NSW Premier, pictured with others, but not family, in 1993.
**This picture has a scanned reverse – see associated content at the bottom of the details window** John Fahey, former NSW Premier, pictured with others, but not family, in 1993.

 

 

Mr Fahey was a key player in securing the Olympics in Sydney, and is renowned for jumping for joy when the successful bid was announced.

Ministers from both sides of politics have spoken fondly of the veteran politician who also served as federal finance Minister and helped deliver major reforms for the state, such as the introduction of the Disability Services Act, the NSW Seniors Card and the first NSW Minister for the Status of Women.

As Industrial Relations Minister, he led a major overhaul of the state's Industrial Relations system.

 

More to come

 

 

Originally published as 'Proud to be your daughter': John Fahey farewelled

John Fahey who died last month age 75 is being farewelled today at a state funeral.
John Fahey who died last month age 75 is being farewelled today at a state funeral.
Former prime minister Tony Abbott arriving at the state funeral in Sydney. Picture: NCA NewsWire/POOL/ Bianca De Marchi
Former prime minister Tony Abbott arriving at the state funeral in Sydney. Picture: NCA NewsWire/POOL/ Bianca De Marchi
Former prime minister John Howard and wife Jeanette arrive. Picture: AAP
Former prime minister John Howard and wife Jeanette arrive. Picture: AAP
Alan Jones was among the who’s who of guests attending the state funeral of John Fahey, at St Mary's Cathedral, in Sydney. Picture: AAP
Alan Jones was among the who’s who of guests attending the state funeral of John Fahey, at St Mary's Cathedral, in Sydney. Picture: AAP
Images of a life lived for others, photos of Mr Fahey’s life were shared with attendees at the funeral.
Images of a life lived for others, photos of Mr Fahey’s life were shared with attendees at the funeral.

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