Friday, February 25, 2011

gordon trickett - an ordinary life?

Gordon Trickett died last month. No, I wouldn't have noticed it either had I not read his obituary in the Sydney Morning Herald. But he deserves to be remembered.

Gordon was born in 1925 in the small NSW country town of Uralla. He saw the effect of the depression on country people and it gave him a strong sense of social justice and compassion.After serving in the RAAF during World War 2, he studied for the Methodist ministry then served as a parish minister in a number of country towns.

As a parish minister, and later as a head of several church social responsibility groups, he had an impressive record of fighting for justice and caring for the disadvantaged:

  • he was a part time prison chaplain;
  • in the early 70s he developed an after school study program for aboriginal children and run by student teachers studying in Armidale;
  • he advocated for improvements to how church and government ran institutions for the sick, disabled, aged and imprisoned;
  • he worked for peace, opposing the war in Vietnam and conscription and coordinating the Sydney Palm Sunday peace marches;
  • when he came to Sydney, his support for the rights of indigenous Australians led to him negotiating the return of church-owned land to the Redfern aboriginal community;
  • he worked for the decriminalisation of homosexuality.

In many respects Trickett was just another anonymous (to most of us) Aussie and christian, but he lived his life in the service of others and supporting causes that were sometimes unpopular and unfashionable, but which we can see were generally right. He deserves to be remembered.

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