Ron Bradford 11.6.1936 – 4.7.2010

July 11, 2010 at 8:22 am (Commentary) (, )

A tribute to Ron Bradford

It was with sadness that I learnt recently of the death of a friend and teaching colleague, Ron Bradford.

Ron exemplified and epitomized all that is best in our society. He was so typically Australian in appearance and manner, with his tall lean figure, laconic manner and soft Aussie accent. In a remembrance to him, he was described as a “Passionate activist for justice and animal liberation, teacher, builder and loving gentle man.”

  There will be little or nothing said of Ron in the national media but he was a man who made me proud to be Australian. We hear a lot from our politicians about so-called ‘great Australians’ captains of industry, sportsmen and others who we all know are rogues with little to recommend them but the money and titles that have come their way.

Ron’s passion was for the downtrodden and oppressed. He had no time for bigoted and intolerant attitudes expressed by many Australians today. He wanted to help others both human and animal, which he did magnificently, from newly arrived migrants, struggling students and suffering animals.

In no way a zealot or fanatic, either spirituality or politically, he was attracted to Eastern spirituality and I suspected— motivated by The Good Samaritan. Politically he retained much of the old Australian Labor Party conscience and dedication to social justice. He admired what Gough Whitlam did for public education, particularly the abolition of university fees.

I remember Ron saying that he belonged to a fortunate generation of Australians, ’too young for the Second World War and Korea and too old for Vietnam’. I’m sure that what he meant was he was lucky he was not needed by his country to fight overseas because of his age.

At his funeral his daughter, Sonya, read a poem which ended with the words, “And we are hoping you knew all along how much you meant to us.” Anne, his wife, left a message of thanks from the animal kingdom and how, “Ron’s selfless service in social justice, has helped further the evolution of our beautiful planet.”  His son, Ian, spoke movingly about his father, with his sisters, Kim and Sonya beside him.  There were other tributes and Lama Phuntsok delivered Buddhist prayers and chants.

Ron, I thank you for the example of your life, and making me proud to be Australian.

David Wall

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2 Comments

  1. Greg Pearson said,

    Thank you David for a lovely tribute to a good man.

  2. Steve Tuvik said,

    Well spoken David. Ron was a mentor to a young and wet behind the ears teacher many years ago at Jannali Boys and I will always treasure him for that. You will not be forgotten Ron.

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