House debates

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Statements by Members

Mr Bill Galton

9:36 am

Photo of Chris BowenChris Bowen (Prospect, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Assistant Treasurer) Share this | | Hansard source

On Sunday afternoon, when I was travelling to Canberra, I was very saddened to receive a phone call telling me that Mr Bill Galton, a constituent of my electorate of Prospect, had passed away. Bill was an institution in Fairfield and, more importantly, he was a wonderful man whom I knew well. I enjoyed his company and I am very sad to see him go. He was 88. Bill was the foundation member of the Fairfield RSL Club. He was No. 1 badge holder and patron of the club. He first joined the Fairfield RSL subbranch in 1957 and I was glad that he was able to come to the 50th anniversary dinner a few months ago, which I attended as well. It was great to see him there in good health and I am very sad that he lost his battle and his life on the weekend.

He saw four years overseas military service in the First Australian Landing Craft Squadron in Rabaul in New Guinea, in Jacono in New Britain and he also served in Borneo. His father was one of the early presidents of the Fairfield RSL Club and the Fred Galton Hall is named after his father. In fact, the street I live in, Galton Street, is named after his family. Bill will be deeply missed in Fairfield. It is the end of an era to see Bill pass away.

Until very recently, Bill could be seen walking around the streets of Fairfield and he would always stop and have a word to anybody he knew, which was a lot of people. I recall seeing him several times in the last few months doing his shopping in Fairfield and stopping to talk to him. If I had realised that last time I got to talk to him would be in fact the last time, I would have taken the opportunity to tell him just how much I valued his friendship and just how much the community valued not only his military service but his service to the community through the RSL club. His funeral will be on Friday. I take this opportunity in the parliament to extend my personal condolences to his daughters, Kate and Diane, and his son, Bill Jr. They will miss him, but the entire Fairfield community will miss him.

He was an institution in the Fairfield RSL club. He was the patron of the club and was deeply respected by every member of the club because of his humanity, because of his decency and because of the time that he would take to talk to anybody who came his way. He will be sadly missed and I extend my condolences to his family.