Loving farewell for stalwart

MLA Ben Wyatt.
MLA Ben Wyatt.

The father of Victoria Park MLA Ben Wyatt, Cedric Wyatt fought all his life for the advancement of the Aboriginal community. He died on September 25 after an illness, aged 74.

Such was the depth of respect for the Victoria Park resident that there was a standing ovation at the farewell ceremony, held at Trinity College Chapel.

A former Clontarf College student, Mr Wyatt spent most of his adult life establishing, defending and enhancing the legal interests of Aboriginal people.

Friend and former Labor MP Tom Stephens paid tribute to his public life.

‘The use of the words affable and gregarious are massive understatements,’ he said.

‘He travelled the State doing what had to be done at that time and building up a top quality professional network. And much of that network is around this chapel today.’

Son and Victoria Park MLA Ben Wyatt touched on his father’s childhood. He told a story about a time his father shot the priests’ washing off the line.

It was clear the impact his dad had on the people he met, as the man responsible for bringing him back after the washing shooting incident was present at his funeral.

Ben said when he was elected to Parliament, people got ‘two Wyatts for the price of one.’

‘I would find Cedric in my office chair, on the phone, and would be told by frantic electorate staff that they would deal with my requests once they dealt with Cedric’s,’ he said

He said it was suggested that he change the sign to Cedric Wyatt and Son. Ben spoke fondly and highly of his father who had a remarkable life.

He said his father always knew that you did not take anything when you departed.

‘What we leave behind is family, friendship and memories,’ he said.