|[Picture: Former ILA President Richard P. Hughes Jr.]|
Paddy Crumlin, National Secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia and President of the International Transport Workers Federation, sent the below message of condolences to ILA President Harold Daggett following the death of former ILA President Richard P. Hughes Jr.
12 September 2013
Mr. Harold Daggett
International Longshoremen’s Association
I am terribly saddened to hear my great mate Richie Hughes has passed away and would deeply appreciate it if you could please relay my, and my wife Gail's, personal sympathies and condolences to his wife Wilma "Babe", the Hughes family, as well as to the officers, staff and members of the International Longshoremen's Association. Gail and I extend our sympathies on behalf of the officers, staff and members of the Maritime Union of Australia, International Transport Workers Federation Acting General Secretary Steve Cotton, retired General Secretary David Cockroft and the ITF Executive Board, officers, staff and affiliated unions, particularly international dockworkers.
I had the great pleasure of meeting Richie's family at the last ILA Convention, and can assure them that they are in our thoughts and have our best wishes at this time of grief. I hope that, in some small way, that knowledge may assuage their feelings of deep loss.
Richie was an extraordinary character, loved and respected for his tireless work on behalf of the ILA and the US and International Labour Movement. He was a Baltimore boy down to his bootstraps. He is also remembered for his great humour and generosity of spirit. He loved, and was greatly loved in return, by his family. He often said to me the purpose and satisfaction of our life’s endeavours was mostly secured by the support we can offer for our family. I know they took immense pride in Richie’s rise to the highest level of office in the ILA, only one of nine longshore workers to credit that achievement in the 120-year history of your union.
While his time at the helm was short, it punctuated a long life of distinguished service with the ILA.
He was a great internationalist who I relied on for advice and support, always unstintingly given, and usually fashioned with stories and reflections on his long, colourful and, often, humorous experiences of life in and around the docks.
Together with the support of your union, he was one of the mainstays for my standing for ITF President, and continued to provide that constant support and contribution to the Executive Board of the ITF as Vice President.
At a time of great challenges and threats to working men and women from the many political and commercial elites arrayed against organised labour, Richie's long and distinguished career helped shape the current construction of the national and international campaigns and activities constantly demanded of our movement.
I know with certainty his work and commitment will continue to nourish me personally, and energise our ongoing collective determination to build a fairer, safer and more decent workplace and world situation.
Again, Harold, please pass on our sincerest sympathies to Richie's family, friends and our brothers and sisters of the ILA.
Vale Richie Hughes: longshoreman, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, friend and trusted brother of the labour movement.
Now at rest, and in peace.
Sincerely and in unity,
National Secretary, Maritime Union of Australia
Chair, ITF Dockworkers Section