BOB Hawke was a true Labor legend who will be kicking himself that he's not around to watch the results of Saturday's federal election, according to Darren Cheeseman.
"I'm sure he is waiting at the Pearly Gates with a beer in his hand talking to St Peter and telling him why Bill Shorten is the best choice for Prime Minister," Mr Cheeseman said.
The former Member for Corangamite had the pleasure of spending time with Mr Hawke on the election trail back in 2010.
"Bob was obviously a real legend of the trade union and of course the Labor Party," Mr Cheeseman said.
"He invested almost his whole working life into making life better for Australians."
Mr Cheeseman remembers Mr Hawke was "mobbed" when walking the streets of Colac.
"It was a great thrill to walk alongside him in Colac," he said.
Mr Cheeseman said dozens of people wanted to talk to Mr Hawke and shake his hand.
He said Mr Hawke was a larger than life character with a great sense of humour and a caring nature.
"He was good fun to be around and he was always there for a kind word if you needed picking up," Mr Cheeseman said.
He said the former Prime Minister had an incredible ability to relate to people from all walks of life.
"On the street walk he met dairy farmers, he met businessmen and he met people who worked in the meatworks - he was able to engage with all of them and talk to them about their issues," Mr Cheeseman said.
He said Mr Hawke inspired him to pursue a career in politics.
"While I was at school I loved the way he was reforming the community," Mr Cheeseman said.
He said he had known Mr Hawke had been ill for about 12 months.
"I was hopeful he would be able to see the election of a Shorten government, which I know he really wanted to see," Mr Cheeseman said.
He said true to legend, Mr Hawke loved a beer.
"On a number of occasions I did have a couple of quiet frothies with him - he certainly enjoyed them," Mr Cheeseman said.
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