Former president Prof George Maxwell Richards will be surely missed. Behind his relaxed attitude and very visible love of life, there was a depth that not many were aware of. He earned my sincere respect in a very unexpected and personal way. It shows the type of leadership that is both unusual and sorely lacking in this country, but about which his example still gives me hope.
It is a bit surprising and ironic that I am saying this about Prof Richards because I was openly critical of his appointment and leadership. Despite this, in 2004 he unexpectedly invited me to sit as an independent senator.
I was surprised at the invitation and being very guarded about my independence in those early days, I wanted to also make sure that it was understood that I stood by my past assessment, which I based on objective criteria. It was never meant with any personal malice, however.