Wednesday, 5 November 2014

A small puzzle within the history of Christopher Pearson and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott

I mourn the passing of Christopher Pearson.
Christopher was one of our country's finest conservative intellects. He was also a steadfast friend.
I valued Christopher's counsel and his wisdom.
I suspect he never fully appreciated the impact he had on others and the sense of gratitude we have for him.
Australia will miss him.
[Tony Abbott, 9 June 2013]

Sometimes trawling though the Internet archives one comes across intriguing puzzles.

This one concerns Christopher James Pearson, writer, newspaper columnist, speech writer for former Australian Prime Minister John Howard and current Prime Minister Tony Abbott, as well as editor of three of Mr. Abbott’s books The Minimal ­Monarchy, How to Win the ­Constitutional War and Battlelines - who died on 7 June 2013 and whose probate details appear in CHRISTOPHER JAMES PEARSON [2014] SASC 77 (19 June 2014).

In his first will dated 1 May 1996 he made a specific disposition of his shares in The Adelaide Review Pty Ltd and his units in The Adelaide Review Unit Trust to his friend, Anthony John Abbott. The residue of the estate is to be divided in equal parts between the deceased’s mother and Mr Jones and, if either of those persons predecease the deceased, their share is to pass to the survivor. If both predecease the deceased, the residue is to pass to Mr Abbott.

On 13 May 2008 Mr. Pearson made another will. His mother had died and the aforementioned shares/units had been previously sold, so could not be included. However, Mr. Pearson went one step further than removing a specific bequest – he removed Anthony John Abbott from the will entirely.

The beneficiaries of the will were changed to Jack Snelling and Aaron Russell.

One has to wonder what Mr. Abbott thought of this rather novel way of losing out to his political opposition.

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