I rise today to pay tribute to a great Canberran, Eric Traise. In doing so, I would like to acknowledge members of Eric's family who are sitting with us in the chamber, his wife, and members from the Tuggeranong Community Council. He was a very much loved member of the Canberra community, and today's presence of so many friends and colleagues highlights that. I welcome them to the chamber today.
Not only was Eric a great Canberran but he was also a very active member of the Tuggeranong community and, as I said, he was a much loved member of the Tuggeranong community. He was dedicated to improving our community and working tirelessly to make Tuggeranong and Canberra a better place.
Eric was born in Newcastle and was the youngest of five children. He attended Newcastle High and then joined the RAAF as an engineering cadet after high school. He was posted to Malaysia and then later to the US. He had a fabulous 21-year career in the military. Eric later worked with what is now CASA and Airservices Australia, where he upgraded and maintained radars. This work led to a love of radars and a love, I understand, of taking photos of radars.
Eric and his wife, Carole, moved to the Sunshine Coast to retire but were brought back to Canberra when they learned they were going to be grandparents. During his retirement, I found out the other day, Eric found Winny. Eric was crazy about Winny. Winny had a strange effect on Eric and his wife. He loved Winny. Carole, I think, hated Winny. By the way, Winny was a Winnebago.
Later on in his life, Eric served on the Tuggeranong Community Council for many years as a general member, as a treasurer and as president in 2013, and, despite his illness, he stood and was re-elected for a second term in September 2014.
I was fortunate enough to hear about Eric's life at a memorial service last Friday at the ANU. It was heartwarming to see hundreds of people turn out for the service, but it was not surprising, because he had such respect from the Canberra community and a positive influence on so many Canberrans. I noted some of the ways that people described Eric and I want to recount those today: 'He was truly one of a kind.' 'He firmly believed in living a life that matters.' 'He was a patient and understanding parent.' 'No problem was insurmountable.' 'He was a man of integrity.' 'He set high standards.' 'He added value to everything he did.' 'Everyone turned to him in their time of need.'
Eric made an enormous contribution to Canberra and his legacy will live on in so many ways. I send my deepest condolences to his family: his wife, Carole; his children, Melinda, Sheriden and Matthew and his grandchildren, Matthew, Riley and Myah. He will be greatly missed. May he rest in peace. Vale Eric Traise.