Wednesday, 13 September 2006
Mr John Vander Wyk
Before I call Senator Fifield, I would like to have a short break in the adjournment debate, if I may. Senators may be aware that Mr John Vander Wyk, the Clerk Assistant (Committees), who is at the table here tonight, retires next week after 32 years of service to the Senate. This will be his last sitting week. Since joining the Senate department in March 1974, John has served in all the sections of the Senate—the Table Office, the Procedure Office, as acting Usher of the Black Rod and in the Committee Office. He has given exceptional service to all senators and, in the best tradition, has given confidential advice to one senator on how to do a particular thing and then the same quality advice to another senator on how to prevent that particular thing from being done.
In April and May 2005, John was the delegation secretary to a parliamentary delegation to the Russian Federation and Italy, which I led. I must say that I found him to be delightful company as well as a very good and diligent secretary. We shared some wonderful experiences, particularly at a cultural establishment frequented by the beautiful people of Capri, as I recall. John, I know I echo the sentiments of all honourable senators when I warmly wish you all the very best for a long retirement in the sun. Thank you for your service to this place.