Australians paid their last tribute on Friday (19 May) to one of their greatest politicians, Sir Robert Menzies.
SCU: Prince Charles arrives at Scots Church with Governor-General Sir Zelman Cowen, and shakes hands with clergy.
SV: Dame Pattie Menzies arrives in car at the church, and walks up church steps.
SCU: craped coffin
GV: Dame Pattie Menzies walks down aisle to front pew.
GV: Prince Charles walks forward to read the lesson.
CU: Prince Charles reading lesson.
GV: congregation FADE TO TV EXTERIOR church (Choral music)
GV EXTERIOR: coffin being carried down church steps.
GV: Prince Charles and Governor General leaving church.
GV: members of Royal Australian Navy in funeral procession.
GV: Hearse in procession.
GV: members of Royal Australian Air Force in funeral procession.
GV: funeral procession (music)
GV: official limousine.
GV: Hearse drives away from camera.
PRINCE CHARLES: "Let us now praise famous men, and our father that begot us. The Lord hath wrought great glory by them, through his great power from the beginning."
Sir Robert Gordon Menzies was born in 1894 in the wheat-growing town of Jeparit in Western Victoria. But Melbourne was his adult home, and before entering Federal politics he was a member of the Victorian State Parliament. It was Robert Menzies, during his first term as Prime minister, who, in 1939, announced that Australia was at war with Germany. In the late 1940s, he formed the present Liberal Party from the remnants of anti-Labour parliamentary groups, and led it to power in 1949. He strengthened Australian defence ties with the United States. In 1965 he led Australia into another war -- Vietnam, which was to have effects on Australian life lasting well beyond the Menzies era. Early in 1966 he resigned as Prime Minister and left political life.
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Background: Australians paid their last tribute on Friday (19 May) to one of their greatest politicians, Sir Robert Menzies. Sir Robert, who was Prime Minister between 1939 and 1941 and again between 1949 and 1966, died at his home in Melbourne on Monday (15 May).
SYNOPSIS: Britain's Prince Charles, representing Queen Elizabeth, arrived at Scots Church in central Melbourne with the Australian governor-general, Sir Zelman Cowen. The Prince led more than 700 official mourners including Sir Robert's widow, Dame pattie Menzies.
Sir Robert died at the age of 83. He had been in poor health for several years, and had lived in quiet retirement at his home in the Melbourne suburbs. Only occasionally during his retirement did he made statements of a political character. At the service, Prince Charles read the lesson.
The present Australian Prime Minister, Mr Malcolm Fraser, and some of the country's leading politicians, were among the pall-bearers who escorted the coffin from the church. It had been, at the request of Sir Robert Menzies and his widow, a simple service. Outside the church in the cold of Melbourne's winter, 200-thousand people lined the rainy streets. Australians were able to see the event, which was broadcast live one 137 television stations throughout the country.
Sir Robert's body was escorted by more than 300 members of the Australian navy, army and air force. After a 19-gun salute, he was cremated. Among the official mourners were two former British Prime Minister, Lord Home and Sir Harold Wilson, as well as the veteran American statesman, Mr Averell Harriman, who represented President Carter.