Family and staff of the late independent MP for Calare, Peter Andren recently came together in Lithgow to celebrate his life and his learnings, a decade since his untimely death.
Lithgow was chosen as the location for the November 4 gathering as it was a city within the electorate Peter held dearly.
It became his stronghold as he steadily built up as base of support in the area, successfully contesting four Federal Elections from 1996 to 2004 and winning each with increasing majorities.
Peter was the first Member for Calare to open a permanent presence in Lithgow, enlisting his sister Patricia and former Prime TV colleague Brian Hustwayte to staff the Main Street office throughout his time in Parliament.
Both attended the Lithgow reunion, along with nearly all of Mr Andren’s former staff, his former wife Jenny and youngest son Josh.
They recalled Peter Andren’s absolute dedication to helping to helping people, as well as his many principled stands on sensitive issues in Federal Parliament, which saw him labelled by the media as “The Conscience of the House”.
Peter Andren announced his intention to run for the Senate in mid 2007 when a boundaries redistribution supported by major parties effectively abolished the seat in all but name.
Lithgow and Bathurst were both moved into the seat of Macquarie.
Soon after Peter was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died on November 3, 2007 aged 61.
The seat of Calare was subsequently restored to its longstanding boundaries at the next Federal election.