I rise this morning to pay tribute to Dick Gray, who passed away last month. Dick Gray was a working-class warrior and a proud union man who had three main loves: his family — his wife, his two girls, his sons-in-law and his grandchildren — the Geelong Football Club and the union movement.
Dick grew up in Reservoir and was a Resa boy through and through — staunch, loyal, lovable and committed. He became an electrical apprentice and recruited workers at his various workplaces, then becoming an elected organiser and the assistant state secretary of the Electrical Trade Union. Later he became an organiser and then president of the Australian Workers Union.
I had many occasions to meet and work with Dick over the years, but it was three years ago when I had the pleasant surprise to see Dick and Kaylene when they joined the Portarlington Labor branch.
Dick had retired, and they had both decided to leave Melbourne for Drysdale to be closer to fishing and of course to be closer to his beloved Cats. The funeral service on 29 January was a testament to Dick and his values.
A huge crowd came together to honour a genuine bloke who cared about and looked out for others. He did good. He did us proud. He is sorely missed. Vale, Dick Gray.