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Eight months later Paul Landa was dead from a heart attack at the age of forty-three.

The Jack Ferguson farewell dinner was held at the Harbord Diggers on the Thursday night -- two days before the election. Jack's long and controversial career in Parliament was about to come to an end. Many people, particularly on the left, had been shocked when he announced his retirement -- he had been blunt in his explanation. "I always said that I would go when I reached sixty... but nobody was bloodywell listening."

We were in the final stages of a hectic campaign, keyed up for a desperate battle, but for some reason the atmosphere was not charged with the usual political hype. A large group of friends, who had been involved in many battles together, were enjoying a evening of nostalgia. Ferguson arrived and greeted us in his usual gruff manner.

Ken Turner, an associate professor in the Department of Government at Sydney University was to be the keynote speaker -- giving an appreciation of Jack Ferguson's career. A number of my fellow backbenchers were in the audience, and at the last moment Paul Landa appeared. We found him a place on the top table.  

Landa spoke first. He described how he had sat next to Ferguson in cabinet during many a stormy debate. Ferguson had advised him about survival.

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