The colourful and well known Trotskyist and Sydney book seller, Bob Gould, died 22/5/11. His death marked the passing of a certain era in the labour movement.
Born in 1937 into an Irish Catholic family, Bob was a life long member of the ALP. After joining at 17 years of age and doing battle against the Groupers, Bob continued throughout his life to promote and fight for the ideas of socialism both within and outside the ALP. He was a vehement anti-Stalinist.
Whilst he was heavily involved in the anti-Vietnam war movement and anti-censorship battles in earlier decades, his activism never ceased. Bob was more recently active in the struggles against the invasion of Iraq and for refugee rights.
His commitment to assisting young union activists was legendary. His invaluable knowledge of the history of the Australian labour movement helped many a young activist over the years and his book shops proved an invaluable resource for political and rank and file union activists over the decades.
His commitment to, and presence in, the movement will be sorely missed, as testified to by the approximately 400 people who crowded into the Macquarie Palm chapel at North Ryde crematorium on 26/5/11 for Bob’s funeral.
Appropriately, an extension of time was moved and passed to allow all listed speakers time to finish their tributes, which meant proceedings ran a half hour over time. The memorial was followed by a wake in Newtown.
Vale Bob Gould.
By Robyn Hohl