4 March 2013 - PETER HARVEY - Veteran Aussie Journalist


- Veteran Aussie Journalist -
1944 - 2013 

G'day guys,

It is a sad day today. Australia has lost an icon in Australian journalism - Peter Harvey. His passing was admirably summed up by David Gyngell, CEO of the NINE NETWORK.
"It’s with a heavy heart that I confirm the passing of the great Peter Harvey. As all of you know, Peter had been battling terminal illness for the past six months. And as we all witnessed, he confronted the inevitable with his trademark mix of courage, selflessness and humour.

That was simply inspiring. But not the least bit surprising.
And it was the mark of the man that Peter insisted on coming to work and fronting the cameras right to the end – always grateful of ours and the literally thousands of well wishes from the public, but actually embarrassed about being the centre of so much ‘ fuss’. As usual thinking little of himself and much more of others, principally his beloved family.

On behalf of everyone at Nine I extend our heartfelt sympathies to Peter’s wife Anne and their children Claire and Adam. Their loss is profound and our thoughts and prayers are with them.

Likewise, this is the saddest of days for the Nine Network. Peter Harvey - 'Harves' as he is known to everyone – is and will remain an indelible part of Nine. Like Tony Greig who we also lost so sadly recently, Peter was a huge chunk of the DNA of this place. He will consequently always be a legend at Nine.

Harves has been with us since way back in 1975. A remarkable 38 years in which he brought his gravitas, understanding, authority and humour to every story he touched. From the Whitlam dismissal of that first year, through two amazing decades reporting federal politics before switching bases to Nine in Sydney from where he travelled far and wide, covering everything from the Gulf War, to famine in Africa, the ninetieth anniversary of Gallipoli, the overthrow of the Marcos administration in the Philippines to the quirky human interest local stories only he could do justice. And everything in between. He reported from every continent and invariably did so with distinction. And for the past ten years in addition to his News duties, Harves became the one-of-kind mailbag segment man for 60 Minutes with his unusual and laser-accurate take on news and public debate.

In short, there’s pretty much nothing Harves hasn’t done, and certainly nothing he hasn’t done really well. He’ll be remembered fondly forever for his famous deep-throated ‘ Peter Harvey, Canberra’ sign-off of course, but for much, much more .

Peter’s legacy will be his continuous highly quality award-winning journalism for the better part of five decades, and the huge respect of his peers across Australian journalism and politics. And that of young journalists wherever he worked, for whom his time, advice and warmth was legendary. But beyond that, Peter Harvey so clearly won the respect and friendship of his audience – the millions of people who came to trust him, and enjoy what he did and the special way he did it.

Australians can pick a good bloke. And they found one in Harves. Indeed, the best of the best.

He was a larger-than-life figure. A wonderful story teller and a lovable, generous big bloke with a huge heart and that distinctive one-in-a-million voice. A man who loved his family above all, then his craft which he honed to an art form, and then his colleagues. And who could laugh at himself and the rest of us, and make us all smile.

Peter Harvey will be fondly and deeply missed.

Comment by Peter Overton - former colleague: 

"THAT voice, that rumbling, warm, deep baritone. You all loved him, knew him by that voice. But it was his heart, his humour and his enthusiasm for storytelling that I loved him for.

Each day, Harves and I would talk about our families, philosophy, military history and where you could find the best yoghurt in Sydney. Harves used to rave about Rose Bay, a place where he would often take his wife Anne for a date.

Every day, when Harves loped into the news room, back from a story, first you would hear that voice, then see him and without fail he would proudly tell you that his story was "absolutely terrific".

His enthusiasm never waned. Never. From politics to war to the Mardi Gras and fashion week and everything in between, Peter was the ultimate newsman.
But the past few weeks, the rows of reporters' desks haven't felt quite right. There's one empty. Harves' desk. Draped over the back of his chair, his famous fleece and on his desk, books of military battles and a notepad with his thoughts. They remain, untouched.

No one is quite ready to say goodbye. You see, Peter Harvey was a dear friend, mentor and colleague to all of us. He had a unique way of telling a story. He could deliver the punch in a handful of words where others might need a couple of paragraphs. Throw in that voice and it was magical.

Peter also taught us so much about living in the way he handled his illness. He lived for the day and didn't dwell on what tomorrow may reveal. What sustained Harves when he was dealing with his cancer was coming to work and doing his job.

His presence will, of course, remain - his magnificent voice that introduces the Sydney 6pm news every night.

That is what he wanted. And that is what we want, too. A reminder of the great newsman that he was."

Here is a short video for those of you who have never heard his amazing voice, courtesy of the ABC:

"A journalist of integrity and authority," Prime Minister Julia Gillard
"It's the saddest of days for all of us because Peter Harvey has been such a huge and indelible part of the history and fabric of the Nine Network for close on 40 years,'' Nine chief executive David Gyngell
"We all love him. He's a great colleague, a mentor to so many young reporters and producers, a wonderful storyteller and a terrific person to have around the place,'' Nine's news director Darren Wick
"You're the storytellers' storyteller and the best of men,'' reporter Hugh Riminton
"He was a newsman's newsman,'' friend and former colleague Paul Bongiorno
"We lose a character. Journalism, like politics and life, is full of bland, colourless people. He is full of colour," - Ray Martin
"Peter Harvey passes away Legend!'' Sandra Sully
"Very sad to hear of the passing of Peter Harvey. You will be missed Sir. #RIP #WeLoveHarves,'' Charlotte Dawson
"I'm not going to let the fears and worries of tomorrow take the joy out of today'' RIP Peter Harvey. You will be deeply missed.'' Layne Beachley
"RIP Peter Harvey TV legend. My thoughts go to his friends and family,'' Matt Moran
"Sad news. Channel Nine reports the death of Peter Harvey. We'll all miss,'' Mark Scott
"The best writer of a TV yarn, the best voice and an absolute gentleman,'' Kieran Gilbert
"It's the saddest of days for all of us because Peter Harvey has been such a huge and indelible part of the history and fabric of the Nine Network for close on 40 years. He is a legend in the true sense of the word, now and always, in this place. We have lost not only a wonderful old school journalist of shining integrity but a fantastic story-teller and simply a great human being and a close friend. Our deepest sympathies and love go out to his wife Anne and to their children Claire and Adam - both proud journos just like their dad,'' David Gyngell
"He has been called 'a journalist's journalist', and there was truth in that, but he had the knack of explaining quite complex issues in language everybody could understand. Peter was best known for his time in Canberra where he covered politics with distinction and earned the respect of politicians from all parties. But he was extraordinarily versatile - a war correspondent before his long stint in the national capital and then turning his hand to everything from showbiz to crime reporting to commentary for Sixty Minutes after transferring to Sydney in 1997. He was a talented broadcaster, able to ad lib material where most of us would need a script. One of the things I most admired about him was the way he mentored younger colleagues. Peter's was a generous spirit. He's a real loss to journalism,'' Laurie Oakes
"Peter Harvey had a great presence, a great voice and a fantastic feel and humility for people, he always brought them into his stories in a interesting way. He will be greatly missed as a journalist and a man.'' Cameron Williams
"Peter Harvey is one of my dear, dear friends and someone I regard on a very deep personal basis. Whats hes done for me, given me and taught me I will carry for the rest of my career and life.'' Peter Overton
"Peter was an icon of Australian journalism his sign off from Canberra was as famous as the man and he was tremendous storyteller,'' Chris Uhlman, ABC.
"Peter loved his celebrity but he knew how not to take it too seriously and he always always knew younger journalist the time of day. A mentor to so many and much loved,'' Ken Sutcliffe
"Words can't express how much i will miss my dear friend and mentor #PeterHarvey. Much love to his daughter @chmharvey and family. RIP,'' Leila Mckinnon
"It with immense sadness I write #RIPPeterHarvey. Truly one of the greats. An honour to have worked in the same building,'' David Campbell
"One of the great journalists of our time. Inspired me to get into TV. Thoughts are with his family.'' Michael Pell
"So incredibly sad and a great loss. RIP Peter Harvey. #truelegend'' Natarsha Belling
''Peter was an absolute inspiration to so many young journalists, always a gentleman and always made it look easy,'' David Speers

''Peter Harvey was one of the nicest, most passionate, endearing and supremely talented people I have ever met. We'll miss you so much Harves,'' Emma Freedman
''We have lost a great mentor and a true gentleman. Will miss his dry humour, quick wit and genuine advice in the newsroom. #peterharvey,'' Amelia Adams

''Peter Harvey was a real gentleman,'' Larry Emdur

''The veteran, the legend. He was always there. On 60 minutes Peter's mail bag was as legendary as him. He lived and breathed the job . We loved him,'' Michael Usher
''Peter has been a huge part of the media landscape. He has been a huge inspiration to so many,'' Jim Wilson, Seven.

''Fitting to be in crew van in middle of England when news came thru of Peter Harvey's death. They'd all worked with the legend.Vale,'' Derryn Hinch
''Peter was one of the most recognised and respected journalists in Australia. From the wonderful storytelling to his legendary sign off, Peter will be sorely missed by his colleagues and viewers alike,'' NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell

''Rest easy Harves. The grand man of news and a gentleman every step of the way,'' Mark Burrows
- See more at: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/claire-harvey-goodbye-my-dear-dad/story-e6freuy9-1226589104769#sthash.0VeoqUuW.dpuf
Clancy's comment: Peter Harvey was a gifted man and professional journalist. I never met him, but I had planned to have him on this blog as a Very Special Guest.  Over the years, I saw him thousands of times, reporting from all points of the globe about a variety of issues. I'm sure that videos of his reporting will be used by teaching institutions for decades to come. He was a master at his craft - and a great human to boot.

Pax vobiscum, Harves! Loved ya work ... loved ya work! - CT. 

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