If God had a voice in Canberra, it belonged to Peter Harvey

Veteran television journalist Peter Harvey, known to colleagues as "the voice of God", was farewelled at a packed service in Sydney this morning.

Family, friends and senior media figures – including James Packer, Ray Martin and Alan Jones – attended the private funeral at St Mark's Church in Darling Point.

Harvey – best remembered for his rich baritone and famous sign-off – died last week after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 68.

His son, Adam, delivered a warm eulogy and rival political journalist Paul Bongiorno from the Ten Network also paid tribute.

A Channel Nine spokeswoman said: "Adam spoke beautifully. There were some hymns and it was pretty simple but lovely ... it was a celebration as well as a farewell."

Also in attendance were Brian Henderson, John Laws, Richard Wilkins, Ken Sutcliffe, Georgie Gardner, Leila McKinnon and many other well-known reporters and presenters.

In a media career spanning half a century, Harvey started at The Daily Telegraph before moving to Newsweek magazine and The Guardian. But it is was at the Nine Network, which he joined in 1975, that he became a household name.

One of his first stories for Nine was the dismissal of Gough Whitlam. Soon after, Harvey's name became synonymous with the nation's capital, in part due to his sonorous tag at the end of each report: "Peter Harvey ... Canberra."

Harvey was married to his wife Anne for 45 years and both of his children pursued careers in journalism; Claire at The Sunday Telegraph and Adam at ABC's 7.30 program.

A public memorial will be held at 12.30pm on Saturday at Sydney Town Hall.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard, opposition leader Tony Abbott and Governor-General Quintin Bryce will attend.


The story If God had a voice in Canberra, it belonged to Peter Harvey first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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