House debates

Monday, 8 February 2016

Statements on Indulgence

Tynan, Mr Michael

10:01 am

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I thank the House for their support for this. This morning in my community, in Miranda at Our Lady Star of the Sea, in about half an hour, the shire will gather together to commemorate and celebrate the life of a great man, a great Australian. The shire has lost one of its great pioneers and its legends, one of its true gentlemen. Michael Patrick Thomas Tynan of Sylvania Waters passed away early Tuesday morning last week, 2 February, and was taken to his loving God.

Michael was born in Carlton in 1935 and was educated at Marist Brothers High School, Kogarah. He was a loyal servant of our party for many years, serving the people of Sutherland Shire as a councillor from 1974 to 1991 and as shire president from 1975 to 1978 and 1988 to 1989. There will be no other shire president like Michael Tynan. Michael loved his shire with a deep-seated pride and unashamed passion. He was a reformist on the council, working collaboratively with his general manager John Rayner over many years to put Sutherland council on a firm business footing. He was instrumental in putting the council in the position it is in today: very strong. He listened to the wishes and needs of his community long before formal consultation was something that was required. He always understood the need to listen—something that he practised in his personal, business and civic life.

He was an incredibly successful businessman, building a large private business spanning the Sutherland Shire and into the southern highlands, in the motor vehicle industry. He left school in year 10, working on a dairy farm in Hoxton Park, before working in a general store, where he started time in the jewellery department. He started his own business life as a jeweller in Kogarah, opening a store on Railway Parade. He gave the weekly man of the match watch each Monday to the Dragons rugby league team—because the Sharks had not started yet—a tradition that he continued throughout his business career, supporting numerous sporting teams, particularly his beloved Sharks, throughout the Sutherland Shire.

He had an interest in rally driving. He was offered a Mazda to drive in a race, and three months later he opened a Mazda dealership, leasing the total service station on the Princes Highway. Tynan Motors opened for business on St Patrick's Day 1966. No-one can doubt the great Irish temperament of Michael Tynan. For him to do that as a proud Catholic, and proud of his Irish heritage, was an appropriate sign. In his first year of business Michael sold 20 new Mazdas a month—and at the height of Ford and Holden's popularity, which was quite a feat of salesmanship skills and business skills. His business on the corner of Acacia Road and Princes Highway, Sutherland was known to locals as Tynan's Corner. But, most importantly, it blossomed into an empire which today employs more than 300 people and has 17 franchises and five sales outlets. Michael's business was inducted into the Family Business Australia Hall of Fame in 2013. His public career did not conclude when he finished his council term. He was a director of the NRMA from 2003 to 2015 and was an avid advocate for motorists right across New South Wales.

But Michael's greatest achievement in life was his family, and it was his great love and passion. Michael was married to Annette for 57 years. That is such an extraordinary achievement. Annette will be comforted by their five children—Francene, Kieran, Madeline, Daniel and Claire—today, and all of their families and the entire shire community will embrace them.

Michael was a man of great stature, tremendous values and very special faith. He would write to me often, particularly as he was ill over the last year, and he would always give me lots of encouragement and occasional discerning wisdom, challenging various ideas and so on, but he always finished every single email with 'God bless you and your family.' I say to his family today, God bless you. Thank you, Michael Tynan, for your great service to this country. You have been an extraordinary Australian; you have supported our community through thick and thin. Your charitable generosity has no peer in the shire and we will miss you terribly. To all those who are gathering together at Our Lady Star of the Sea Miranda today, I am sorry I cannot be there with you. Michael would want me to be at work today. That is what he would be saying to me today. My wife, Jenny, will be there with you and I wish the whole community all the best as you gather together to grieve and to mourn—but do not forget to celebrate a life well lived by a great Australian and a great pioneer. I thank the House.