||Issue No. 232||06 August 2004|
Interview: Trading Places
Safety: Snow Job
Politics: In the Vanguard
Unions: Gentle Giant Goes For Gold
Bad Boss: 'Porker' Chases Blue Ribbon
International: Cruising For A Bruising
History: Under the Influence
Economics: Working Capital
Review: Fahrenheit 9/11
Poetry: Bad Intelligence Rap
Satire: Osama Bin Manchu
The Locker Room
Tom Goes Asexual
Road Rage At Work
Democracy In Action
Vale Josh Heuchan
By Marcus Strom
This is an obituary that should not be written. Josh died too young with too much to offer the world. His warmth and humanity will be missed by all who knew him. He was a thoroughly ethical person in all his dealings, personal and political.
Josh grew up on the central coast of New South Wales before attending the privileged halls of Barker College in Sydney. He was dux of his class. His experience at Barker bred in him a loathing of such privilege and fostered his need to connect with working class life. At university, he became active in campus politics, joining Left Alliance. He worked in a number of jobs: graphic designer for the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers union in Sydney, executive officer for the National Tertiary Education Union at Sydney University, a geography teacher and intrepid world traveller, among others. He finally worked for the NSW Commission for Children and Young People. He was active supporting youth rights against the police. He was a member of the Progressive Public Service Association, the left faction of the PSA union in NSW.
A sometimes member of the Socialist Alliance in Australia, Josh tired easily of the far left's myopia. The continual 'happy clappy' attitude of the left's revivalism and its dead-end sect perspectives irked him. While committed to the idea of refounding a genuine Communist Party in Australia, he latterly spent much of his formidable energy in his personal relationships and on his outstanding sporting abilities. The love of a wonderful woman, Gwen, saw him happier and more relaxed than at any time I knew him.
He was fiercely competitive without ever being obnoxious in victory. A keen sportsman and a bit of an adrenaline junky, Josh had been a skier since childhood. A skilled soccer player and a polymath of sport, he took up surfing, wrestling and kick-boxing to pass his time. Man, was he fit.
I first met Josh while teaching at Macquarie University in Sydney. He was a student of mine. Through our activity in campus politics we became friends. As he moved away from his earlier anarchist and 'green' leanings, we became firm comrades. He was without doubt one of the finest human beings I have ever met.
Josh took his life seriously and was committed to his friends and family without a trace of cynicism. My comrade saw the perverse and absurd side of life and was happy to laugh along with it over a nice rare steak and a beer. He was bloody good company and a top cook.
Words fail me. I will grieve Josh's passing for a long time to come and will look for him and his humanity in our friends and comrades for years to come. His body is trapped permanently in a glacier beneath the mountain that took him. It is fitting that a mountain stands as a monument to Josh. His was a huge personality and his love was boundless.
My dear friend and comrade, you are desperately missed. My thoughts are with Gwen his partner, Carol, Bill and Angela. A red salute to you Josh, you are not forgotten.
|Search All Issues | Latest Issue | Previous Issues | Print Latest Issue|