Please pass on Gail and my deepest personal condolences and sympathies to all the comrades and friends of Anne Duffy-Lindsay together with those of the officers, members and staff of the Maritime Union of Australia. I'm unable to attend today due to commitments with various Ministers in Canberra over the implementation of the new shipping legislation due to come into force on July 1st. I'm sure Anne would understand and support my absence.
I knew Anne throughout my whole political life of more than 35 years. Having gained a real insight into the nature of class struggle and the need to become politically active as a way of life it seems that Anne was there from Day 1. There has not been a campaign, a day of activity, a humanitarian, human rights or civil rights campaign, an industrial dispute or a fight for democratic and independent rights of working men and women in that time that Anne hasn't featured in in some way. An intellectually lively comrade with a calm, patient and supportive nature she was nevertheless determined and focused on the politics of liberation, emancipation and freedom both in this country and internationally.
She shared the great love of Ireland and the long history of the fight for a single Irish republic which we shared with many friends who were committed to that cause. It was a pleasure to share historical reflections on the history of Republicanism in Ireland with her holding forth her views in that beautiful Irish lilt. There were other causes close to her heart like the great tragedy of the Spanish Civil War, the fight against fascism and the long campaign to develop a genuinely progressive party in Australia. But none greater than the cause of Irish republicanism.
She was also an avid reader and a committed letter writer and note maker. Over the years I would often find a dog eared book on a political or industrial subject with a note or card from Anne in her beautiful hand writing pointing to the salient issues and encouraging me to become more aware of them. In her world knowledge was the basis of all activity.
This inspirational women seemed not to have too much of a life outside progressive and union politics but of course integrated her personal with her political life. Jock Lindsay was a well known seafarer and political activist in his own right and the great love of her life. We thank Jock for the special attention Anne gave to the shipping and waterside industries and she has been a welcomed member of every WWF and SUA and subsequently MUA industrial and political activity throughout my long relationship with her.
Whether it was May Day, street rallies against conservative and anti-worker politics state and federally, peace rallies, activities on behalf of Indigenous rights and monthly MUA meetings, Anne seemed always in attendance, beautifully dressed, softly spoken with her eye completely on the main game of getting the job done for working people.
A beautiful friend, a great comrade and a person who was determined not o waste one second of her life on anything other than making a difference. She was a true inspiration and it was a great pleasure and gift to have known her as a friend and comrade.
Vale, Anne Duffy-Lindsay after a long, worthy and valued life now at peace.