As is the case when any public luminary dies, the passing of Tim Fischer prompted the sharing of anecdotes.
The Age's Tony Wright offered the story about the day a man held Immigration Department staff hostage above Mr Fischer's electorate office in Albury.
Against police advice, Mr Fischer entered the building to negotiate with the man who was armed with a hunting rifle.
The man was a refugee from Laos, and Mr Fischer, a Vietnam veteran, knew about his background.
They spoke for several hours, during which a promise was made that if the man surrendered the gun, Mr Fischer would pay his own way to Thailand where the family was living in a refugee camp to see if he could get them reunited.
"Eventually, Fischer reappeared, the rifle in one hand and a big arm slung around the shoulder of the young man," Wright wrote.
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Other journalists have added their reflections of the former deputy prime minister, where, upon announcing his retirement from the frontbench, he received a standing ovation from both sides of parliament as well as the press gallery.
Can you image that scene now?
Politicians are held in such low regard. It is hard to know what they stand for beyond self-advancement.
Harsh? Perhaps. But name the politicians who would get a standing ovation upon calling it quits?
Prime Minister Scott Morrison offers little more than marketing spin. The rhetorical question, "How good is Australia" prevents any depth of discussion beyond jingoistic fervour.
Where are the true leaders like Mr Fischer?
Can you imagine in today's populist political age a politician standing against his or her voter base and arguing against that base's deeply held beliefs?
Mr Fischer did just that when he stood alongside John Howard after their recent 1996 election win to introduce gun law reform post the Port Arthur massacre.
Mr Howard might have taken centre stage (quite literally when he wore a bullet proof vest when addressing a pro-firearm crowd) but it was Mr Fischer who fronted his electors and party on the matter.
His effigy had a noose strung around its neck and was burned by people against handing back their semi-automatic firearms.
Imagine another politician holding their ground against such overwhelming vitriol? Could you do it? Could I?
Particularly with Labor backing the reforms, the Nationals could have quite easily taken the choice of opposing a fait accompli to appease its supporters.
They chose what was right for the country.
He was not, he said, anti-firearms. He was anti-semi-automatic and automatic firearms in our suburbs.
It is true Australia has had mass shootings since Port Arthur. In 2014, a man used a gun to murder his wife and three children. This year, a man shot and killed four people in Darwin. But America has had 250 mass shootings in the 236 days of 2019.
Perhaps it was his background as a platoon commander in the Vietnam War that gave Mr Fischer the gravitas and authority to speak to difficult truths.
His popularity stemmed from his humanity. His Akurbra hat a genuine accouterment not a marketing ploy.
He became a father later in life and spoke about his eldest son's autism diagnosis as being a crucial factor in his retirement.
In death, there is the risk of lionising someone's achievements and strengths and dismissing their faults.
Mr Fischer was opposed to gay rights and objected to Indigenous land rights during the Wik and Mabo debates.
But he denounced racism and held firm in his opposition to Pauline Hanson's One Nation and the very real threat it posed to his National Party.
His death at the age of 73 from cancer is, like that of Bob Hawke, another severing of the ties to a bygone age.
Politicians who garner the respect of their party, their opponents and the public are not altogether otherworldly now, but they are sadly becoming fewer and farther between.
- Mark Baker is Australian Community Media - Tasmania managing editor