HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES – FEDERATION CHAMBER
Today I honour a valued member of the Australian Labor Party in Ipswich, a tireless community volunteer, a loving mother, sister, grandmother and a true friend and comrade.
Peggy Frankish passed away on 11 October 2016, aged 78, after a four-year battle with a form of leukaemia which affects bone marrow.
Peggy's passing has left a hole in the hearts of many people in Ipswich. Peggy was loved and she loved - and she loved many.
She was passionate and compassionate; she was witty and sardonic; she was strong in her opinions, but not stubborn.
She was hardworking and committed; she was a servant, but never servile; and she was informed and informative.
Peggy became involved in the Australian Labor Party in Ipswich over 15 years ago. She was a member of my branch, the Raceview Flinders branch, and a familiar sight on the campaign trail right until the end - in fact, she attended a branch meeting just a week or so before her passing, even though she had had chemotherapy earlier that day.
It took a lot to keep her down, although much was thrown at her.
She ran TABs in Ipswich and Brisbane and she enjoyed being surrounded by people. She was twice robbed at gunpoint, but she bravely went back to work after the first time. After the second she did not, because she wanted to keep things in perspective.
Peggy and the love of her life, Peter, had three children - Greg, John and Karen. They had seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
Sadly, in 1993 Peggy lost her daughter Karen, who died suddenly and unexpectedly. Three years later Peter, her husband, suffered a massive stroke.
Peggy went on to form a relationship with the Ipswich Hospital stroke unit and became the spokesperson for, and indeed the heart, of the Ipswich Stroke Support Group, even after Peter's death in 2014.
Each year I hold a Blair Disability Links expo. This year, for the first time in six years, Peggy will not be the face of the Ipswich Stroke Support Group. The members of that group are devastated, and it will be a difficult time for them.
She was a great Labor loyalist. She supported my campaigns and worked tirelessly to the end. She recruited members - her dear sister, Yvonne, and her close friend, Noela, are all part of the Ipswich Labor family.
Peggy and my mum, Joy Butler, shared the same passions and became dear friends. They were very caring women who used to bake for the Raceview Flinders branch, which grew to be the biggest branch of the Labor Party in Ipswich. We had the best suppers ever, and people would bring Tupperware to take home the leftovers. Once we grew too large, we moved to the Brothers Leagues Club and, while my mum and Peggy could not bake any longer, they would gather the members beforehand to have dinner at the club.
Peggy always talked politics, and loved fighting Tories. She was a true believer. I will miss Peggy terribly, the party will miss Peggy and Ipswich will miss Peggy. May she rest in peace.