My dad may have been a truck driver and a laundryman but he ran his service as a business and he kept his Bondi family in creature comforts. Good sheets and pyjamas were de rigueur. When I got to university, Ted as chaplain was a shock not just intellectually, but physically. As we became close friends we slept in the same room several times – in huts, at Newman Society camps, at Araluen, and so on. Ted seemed to have no concern for pyjamas. He dossed down in shorts, shirts, old coats, pants (still with the belt on), T-shirts, whatever was available. He seemed comfortable in whatever was available, and wherever he could lay his head. Later, he snored something fierce.
One of my enduring memories is the period where he slept at the back of the
He invited me into that faith many times. I remember him arriving at my house in
I could never get over Ted’s strength. A dinner never went by without Ted regaling us of the latest Aboriginal funeral he’d been to. He took every funeral personally. He had that Irish way of connecting. The man or woman who died was one of the such-and-such family, y’know? He made it feel like the family was part of our whole big Australian family, that we were all connected, responsible, involved. How did he suffer through so many funerals?
Shirley Smith was one of Ted’s great sources of strength. Her smiling eyes reflected in his.