George Durack fought throughout his life for others
14 September, 2018
• GEORGE Durack has always been an example of what comradery should be, (Pensioners’ leader George Durack, a fighter against injustice to the end, September 7).
Since his passing people have spoken highly of him in the many roles he held throughout his life. Serviceman, trade unionist, loving father, councillor, Freeperson of Islington and chair of the pensioners’ forum.
It is an impressive list; linking all these roles was someone who understood the true purpose of society, that the common good benefits all. George fought throughout his life for others.
I was lucky enough to be able to call George a fellow local Labour Party member, neighbour but also a friend. Throughout my involvement in the Labour Party and as his councillor, he was always generous with his advice and his experiences.
He had a brilliant, cheeky sense of humour, the master of a one-liner that elegantly let you know exactly what he thought. Once, at a meeting, someone said “we all know that it’s normal for people to get more conservative as they get older”. George, as quick as a flash, said: “Speak for yourself!”
He was also a gentleman. When I was pregnant, he once insisted on giving me a lift after a rally, even though he was in his 90s by then and had recently been unwell.
His gentle, optimistic nature meant that he was able to be friends with those who had different opinions from him and discuss really challenging social issues without aggression. When I look at the polarised views of today, I realise what a skill this is. This meant that he was widely respected and inspirational.
I learnt from George that knowing what you stand for is crucial and to stay active. He never shied away from campaigning for things to get better. Having achieved the age of 94, George was never an old man.
CLLR KAYA COMER SCHWARTZ
Executive member for community development