Tribute to the life of a local legend (12/06/2012)

10 January 2013

billy_bunter.jpgMr STEPHEN JONES (Throsby) (13:48): I would like to pay tribute to the life of a local legend William Harveybetter known to all as 'Billy Bunter'.

Unfortunately Billy passed away earlier this month following a short battle with cancer, and whilst his death was deeply mourned his memorial service paid tribute to a life well lived. They rarely make men of Billy's quality these days.

He went to sea at the age of 14, working as a deck boy before making the transitionsome say defecting to the other sideto ship's steward. He was a committed Christian, a committed unionist and a proud member of the MUA and the Port Kembla branch of the Australian Labor Party.

He was forever on my back about the passage of the shipping industry bills because he was passionate about the restoration of the maritime industry, something that he spent most of his life working in. He was a generous volunteer who gave years of his life to the Port Kembla Mission to Seafarers.

Billy was a humorist and a fountain of knowledge and he always gave freely of his time to causes that he believed passionately in. He had a great gift as a fundraiser. He had the ability to squeeze a quid out of the tightest pockets and he sold raffle tickets with a single-minded determination to sell one to everyone in the room and every ticket in the book. Over the years he raised thousands of dollars for various charities and causes around the Illawarra. I extend my condolences to his family and friends. I wish him fair weather and calm seas.