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Monday, 9 February 2015
Page: 175


Dr LEIGH (Fraser) (10:47): On the last day of 2014, Canberran Victor Joseph Adams died aged 68. Vic was a proud veteran who served in Vietnam as the commander of the 1st Platoon A Company 2RAR. He was committed to his military mates and to social justice, which he expressed through his activism in the Labor Party, Amnesty International and other organisations. Vic was a great campaigner for Mike Kelly in Eden-Monaro in the 2007 and 2010 federal elections. He lived an extraordinary life, as was outlined at his very moving funeral service, at Norwood Park Crematorium on 8 January. Eulogies were delivered by Ross Ellis, Phil Evenden, Anthony Adams and Mike Kelly, and some beautiful pieces of music were played, by Leonard Cohen, Simon and Garfunkel and Three Dog Night, from among Vic's beloved music.

It was noted that he had represented the United Nations at Anwar Sadat's funeral and that he had been a great prankster in his times in Vietnam. The story of his falling into a latrine trench had the assembled mourners in stitches. Mike Kelly told of how Vic had campaigned for him in Eden-Monaro, including a moment where his car slid off the road and into a ditch—Vic's, not Mike's, that is. Mike said that Vic was such an inveterate letter writer that he wondered now, after Vic's passing, whether The Canberra Times would be worth reading any longer. It was noted that Vic believed in social justice and believed in the Labor Party. That did not mean that he always thought the Labor Party was right about everything. He frequently expressed to me issues on which he thought we could do better. It is a great reminder that political parties, not just the Labor Party, are perfectible beasts, but the Labor Party was Vic's party and he always fought to make it better, whether that meant writing a letter to a local newspaper or coming out to help me on one of those sub-zero mornings in the Civic bus interchange, engaging with constituents in the 2010 and 2013 elections.

He was a great supporter to me and I will miss him dearly. Vic was somebody you knew you could always count on for support and you knew you could always count on for ideas. I offer my condolences to his wife, Lynette, to his children, Anthony and Kelley and to the many friends of Vic throughout the labour and union movement, whose lives will be changed by his passing.