The Guardian 26 January, 2005


Bill Bodenham 1935-2005

It is with regret that we inform readers of the death Bill "Bodo" Bodenham. He will be sorely missed in his home town of Newcastle and by his many comrades and friends in Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere.

Bill spent most of his life in the Maritime Industry, going to sea as a young man. He was a member of the Seamanís Union of Australia, the Firemen and Deckhands Union and after amalgamation, the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA). Bill played a prominent part in all of these and the other organisations he belonged to.

He was National President of the Maritime Unionists Socialist Activities Association (MUSAA) and also National Secretary of the MUA Veterans Association.

For many years Bill was a member of the Communist Party and subsequently the Socialist Party of Australia. He believed that the only lasting solutions to the problems facing workers were to be found in socialism. Bill held steadfastly to his Marxist beliefs, and was always eager to communicate his knowledge and ideas to others and never shied away from giving leadership. He was a great believer in providing working class political education for young people and often gave lectures at St Georges Basin and on a couple of occasions Willowhaven in New Zealand.

Bill was well known as a ardent and passionate supporter both nationally and internationally for workers all over the world and had attended international peace conferences and union conferences on behalf of his union and the Veterans.

Bill was very concerned at the right-wing offensive of the Howard Government which he outlined and analysed in his address to the recent Veterans Conference. Bill stressed the need for unity and struggle to defeat the move to the right and what dangers it posed for the working people.

"Retired From the Workforce ó Not the Struggle" is the slogan of the MUA Veterans. And that describes Billís last years in retirement from the paid workforce. He never for one minute retired from the struggle.

He remained committed to the struggle for Socialism and for a better future for the working people nationally and internationally.

We extend our condolences to his family, comrades and friends on their sad loss.

Back to index page