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Bob Hawke Conducted The Orchestra At His Own Memorial Service

People from all over Australia have gathered at the Sydney Opera House to remember former Prime Minister Bob Hawke.

Between speakers, the service had a musical interlude, conducted by Bob Hawke himself.

The Sydney Philharmonia Choirs performed the 'Hallelujah Chorus' from the Handel's Messiah and a video of Hawke conducting was played above them.

As Hawke appeared on screen, the congregation laughed and cheered.

The video was taken from when Hawke conducted the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs at the Sydney Opera House in 2009.

Bob Hawke conducts the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs at his memorial service.

Hundreds who missed out on a ticket found a seat on the steps of the iconic building to watch the service on a large screen.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison was one of the first speakers to address mourners, saying Hawke and the Australian people shared a "passionate and affectionate relationship".

"They knew each other well. They forgave each others' shortcomings. They understood each others' virtues, there was trust, there was faith in each other," Morrison said on Friday.

"We thank Bob Hawke for loving Australia and loving Australians with every fibre of his being."

Bob Hawke Memorial
People gathered on the steps of the Opera House. Photo: Twitter/ Tamara Wearne

Labor leader Anthony Albanese called Australian's love of Bob Hawke and his love of them a "national romance".

"He loved us together because we understood that our greatest strengths flow from unity. He reached out, he listened, he learned, he encouraged and he dared, dared us to be a better nation," Albanese said.

His wife, Blanche d'Alpuget, was the last to speak and said the memorial service marked the end of Australia mourning.

"Four weeks ago there was a national outpouring of grief when Australia learned Bob Hawke had died. That grief has continued until today," she said.

"Today, this memorial service marks the transition from the grief of loss to the celebration of a life triumphantly well lived."

Bob Hawke Memorial
Bib Hawke memorial booklet. Photo: Twitter/ James OM/ABC News.

Hawke died at his home in Sydney on May 16 at 89.

READ MORE: Labor Icon Bob Hawke Dies Age 89

At the time of his death, d'Alpuget released a statement confirming he had died.

"Bob was dearly loved by his family, and so many friends and colleagues. We will miss him," the statement said.

READ MORE: 'The People's PM' Bob Hawke Remembered With Touching Front Pages

Former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke and his wife Blanche D'Alpuget. Photo: Patrick Riviere/Getty Images.

Hawke was Australia's third-longest serving prime minister with an eight-year stint in the top job between 1983 and 1991.

He pioneered the reintroduction of universal healthcare in the form of Medicare and the establishment of 'Advance Australia Fair' as the national anthem.

READ MORE: There Will Not Be Another Like Bob Hawke

Hawke fast became known as the 'Larrikin PM' after delivering various one-liners. Most famously, Hawke gave bosses all over the country some advice after Australia won the America's Cup sailing tournament.

Former Prime Minister Bob Hawke, wearing the famous jacket he wore when Australia II won the America's Cup, during the 30th anniversary of Australia's win in the America's Cup. Photo: AAP

Wearing his iconic jacket covered in Australia insignia, Hawke said, "any boss who sacks anyone for not turning up today is a bum!"

READ MORE: The Line Australia's Larrikin PM Bob Hawke Will Most Be Remembered For

Later in his life, Hawke held the world record for the fastest time for drinking a yard of beer. He was also known for sculling a drink at the Sydney cricket test match each year, with cameras eagerly encouraging him to do so.

Contact Siobhan at skenna@networkten.com.au