New Bush Telegraph Independent Stories since 1987

I'll miss Pat

March 15, 2020

I’ll miss Pat. I’ll miss our chats whenever we bumped into each other, always a meaningful conversation, never superficial, which I would walk away from having learnt something important. For several years during which my partner Sandra Lee was editor of the NBT, I was the proof-reader so I know from first-hand experience how much work Pat put into this publication once he took over as editor. I also know that it is easy to find yourself in an editorial bubble, especially when trying to source articles other than your own to ensure that a balanced view could be presented. Pat never seemed to have trouble keeping a broadly open mind, even to the extent of not only publishing but insisting on an article from me on my views on voting. We had had a long talk at Cobargo folk festival (where I will miss him every year from now on – he was always there, sitting on a bench with his pipe, reading a book as often as not) and I was bemoaning the state of democracy in Australia and what could be done about it with an election coming up. I was worried about a backlash on Pat for publishing my view at the time of considering the merit of not voting but Pat was always fearless and took the inevitable flak on the chin and with good humour when it came. That was Pat to me – calm, fearless and committed; inspirational to me in keeping perspective on the small but important influence we all have on each other and the world. Pat left a mighty and positive footprint and we will all miss him.

Richard Bates



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