From across Sydney to Wagga Wagga, thousands made their way to the Opera House on Friday (June 14) to celebrate the life of Bob Hawke.
As I joined them, it seemed like a snapshot of Australia had congregated on those steps.
Many were elderly and probably remember Labor leaders as far back as Gough Whitlam.
But perhaps even more noticeable, were all the members of the Australian-Chinese community - some who came bearing flowers.
Theirs was an emotional display of loyalty to the Prime Minister who provided them refuge after the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989.
As dignitaries joined the memorial service inside the Opera House, the rest of us watched the big screen in the Opera House forecourt.
Montages of our 23rd Prime Minister played to the sounds of classical music and despite the sombre tones, the crowd laughed and clapped as images of "Hawkie" filled the screen.
A national treasure hosts the farewell to an Australian icon (All images/Amaani Siddeek)
If there was a common theme among all the speakers, it was that they will remember Bob Hawke as a man of good-natured humour with a passion for the future.
The speeches of his daughter Susan Pieters-Hawke, and granddaughter Sophie Taylor-Price, were woven with fond anecdotes of his "grumpy old-man voice" and "home debates."
Ms Taylor-Price attributes her career in sustainability and climate change action to her granddad. She used her speech to remind the audience of his own passion for environmentalism and conservation.
Speaking partly in Mandarin, his new widow Blanche d'Alpuget, recounted Bob Hawke's love for the Chinese community and celebrated the promise he kept to those students of decades ago.
"Today marks the transition from the grief of loss to the celebration of a life triumphantly well-lived," she said with her arms open wide to the audience, before ending emphatically with a reminder of his defining ideology:
"You have demonstrated Bob's deepest belief; the brotherhood of man."
"Long live friendship between nations and beyond all, long live love."
- Amaani Siddeek @AmanniSiddeek