In June of 2005, Dr Bruce Dawe commenced his role as the Patron of our Association and in 2009 ‘The Patron’s Pen’ became a popular feature of our Quarterly Voice. Numerous news outlets have reported on Dr Dawe’s passing and various associations and organisations have paid tribute to his immense contribution to education and poetry. Edition 2 of The Quarterly Voice features a major article on Bruce Dawe’s life and works, including the unused programme prepared for his public funeral.
Bruce Dawe’s words touched people’s lives and his funeral would certainly have been a very beautiful celebration of his life and writings. However, due to COVID-19 restrictions, he was buried in a small, private graveside funeral in Toowoomba on Tuesday, 7th April.
The late poet Les Murray once said Dawe was “universally loved” and as speech and drama teachers we have certainly loved reading his poetry, short stories and essays, and sharing them with our students. In particular, as an Association we have very fond memories of celebrating Dr Dawe’s 80th birthday in 2010 with the staging by CSPT Inc. Members of ‘Portrait of a Poet – Celebrating the life, times and writings of Professor Dr Bruce Dawe’. As a country, we will be forever grateful to him for helping foster our deep and abiding love for Australia and her people, her challenges and her culture.
Our President, Annette Stoddart, on behalf of our Association officially sent our condolences to Dr Dawe’s widow, Liz, and their family and friends.