House debates

Wednesday, 24 November 2021

Constituency Statements

Martin, Mrs Cathryn Fay, OAM

10:49 am

Photo of Andrew GeeAndrew Gee (Calare, National Party, Minister for Veterans' Affairs) Share this | | Hansard source

Today I rise to pay tribute to one of our region's much-loved and highly respected leading citizens, the matriarch of the National Party in the Central West, a tireless volunteer and dedicated community member, the late Kay Martin OAM.

Ninety-one-year-old Kay was the spiritual leader of the Nationals in our area. I recently attended Kay's funeral, held at Canobie, her farm near Rydal and the centre of so much joy and happiness throughout her life. It was the location of many National Party meetings, social functions and volunteer headquarters over the great many decades Kay dedicated to the party. It was a fitting setting for the send-off of a wonderful woman who was lovingly referred to as 'the Little General'. This title encapsulates the very essence of Kay. She loved and lived for service and politics. In fact, Kay featured in my very first political advertising campaign in 2010-11. To have Kay on your team meant you'd already won the race. She made things happen. She brought people together to make her community and our country a better place. She left no stone unturned in her quest to be part of something great that would benefit her much-loved region.

Kay was born Cathryn Fay Kennett. She was known as Fay until she decided 'Kay' was it. Her early days were spent in Orange, where she was known as 'Toots'! Kay went on to study physical education in Sydney before the call of the country saw her return to Orange as sports mistress at the then PLC. She and her late husband, John, had five children: David, Andrew, twins Jonathan and Cate, and Stuart. Her family speak of a splendid wife, mother, grandmother, sister and aunt, generous to the core, hardworking and with boundless energy, stoic and determined.

Kay loved her family and she also loved the National Party. She lived and breathed the party's values: strong representation and positive outcomes. The chair of the Lithgow branch and Calare FEC Peter Pilbeam says, 'You couldn't find anyone more dedicated to the party than Kay.' Kay Martin exemplified service. A member of the New South Wales Nationals for more than 50 years, she had been an honorary life member since 1995, was a past secretary of the Lithgow branch and held countless other executive positions. And it didn't stop there. Kay was a life member of the Rydal Show Society, where she was the Rydal Showgirl chaperone for many years. She was also a life member of the Wallerawang-Lidsdale CWA. She was heavily involved in the Rydal RFS brigade, Rydal Village Association and the Rydal Union Church. Kay volunteered her time at local preschools and schools. Three years ago Kay was honoured with a Medal of the Order of Australia for service to her community and the National Party. She wore it with pride recently, on her 90th birthday.

On behalf of this parliament, I extend my sincere condolences to Kay's family, including Andrew and Sarah; Jonathan and Julie; Cate and Ian Menz; Stuart and Linda; her grandchildren, Belinda, Thomas, Emma, William, Kai, Neve, Lauchlan and Tom; her sisters, Jean, Louise and Susan; her brother, David; and her sister-in-law, Maureen. Farewell, Kay Martin. She is simply irreplaceable.