Speech to Parliament
13 November 2014
Mr WINGARD ( Mitchell ) ( 17:47 ): I rise today to speak as well in the valedictory of Iain Evans, and I will be brief. I only worked with Iain for a very short period of time, having come in at the last election, and, as you can hear today in all the words that have been spoken about his reputation and the respect and high regard in which he is held, it is just a credit to the man and what he has achieved.
The story I would like to tell is of Iain's retirement. At the time, in our party someone else had left in different circumstances. I had not been in politics long when this happened and it was one of the most incredible things I had ever seen, and not in a good way. This person had left and, to my mind, shown no loyalty to the party or the team. Coming from a sporting background, loyalty is very big where I am from. After that, I heard Iain Evans in his retirement speech, and I have been fortunate enough in a past life as a journalist to have been at a lot of retirement speeches by very highly qualified athletes, athletes who have achieved great things, and other people in this world who have achieved great things. I have heard a lot of creditable, emotional and honourable retirement speeches in my time, but to hear Iain Evans' speech was one out of the box. It was the best that I had ever heard in the way he summed up party and team.
Iain Evans was very much a team player, and it was evident on that day when he gave his speech. I walked away from that realising how important team is and being a unified team, and Iain Evans exemplified that in his retirement speech. I would just like to commend Iain for that because at the time he was still working out where he was going to go.
From the outside looking in, Iain made a very brave, courageous and team-oriented decision to step away at that time to allow a change to come through, given that there was already going to be another change. He could see that making his decision for the betterment of the team was going to be very stabilising and beneficial to the team, and that is the key thing I will take with me from Iain Evans in my time in this house. I think it is imperative that we learn something from that.
It was with great pleasure that I was able to say I was there. I was not there at the start, but I was there at the end. I hope that some of the man I saw and the way he presented himself on that day can rub off on me because if I can walk away from this place singing the same tune Iain Evans sang on that day I know that I will have given a lot to this parliament and, hopefully, we would have had success as well. Again, to Iain, Fiona and your family, thank you for that.
The final thing I will say is that when Iain did that, and moved his seat in this chamber, as a result he perhaps helped me get a promotion into the position I have today. Knowing that Iain was there, and knowing that he will always be there on the phone and that we can contact someone with that great experience, is very reassuring to me. Trust me, Iain, I will be on the phone.