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South Sydney Herald - Vale Ross Smith

Ross Smith SSH Distribution co-ordinator collapsed on Waterloo Green on October 4 as he was preparing to start distribution of the October issue of the paper. Sadly he could not be revived. Ross never spoke to anyone about his family and while he gave much of himself to others, he gave little away about himself. As yet police have been unable to locate any relatives. A public memorial celebration of Ross’s life will be held 9.30-10.45am on Friday November 18 at Alexandria Town Hall, 73 Garden Street (nearest cross street Henderson Road).


Ross Smith
Ross Smith


At morning tea

he usually sat on the stairs,

a tall man folded up, fitting

long limbs into a narrow space.


Late evenings he often walked

through Waterloo Green

as my dog came down

for its last micturition.

‘Hello,’ he’d say, ‘Time

you took your mother upstairs

and made her a cup of tea.’


Morning, afternoon he was busy

with odd jobs, scheduled meetings

about bicycle paths, garden fences,

decayed spouting, inconvenient

trees or neighbours, street lighting,

equity for walk-ups, tenants’ rights,

and delivering the South Sydney Herald;

a faithful man filling a generous space.


He usually wore a polo shirt,

a blue of faded intensity,

and he often turned scarlet

lowering his head

and I could hear his anger

pawing at the ground.


It is strange and painful,

that someone

so particularly present can


not be there.


Catherine Skipper



(For Ross Smith)

We loved him and he loved us

Many topics we liked to discuss

Identity politics, abandonment

of the working class


He loved us and we loved him

The way is a state of delirium

Making our prayers

to regain equilibrium




We loved him and he loved us

Reading a book by Saint Maximus

About a time before passions,

ignorance, illness




He loved us and we loved him

The state is a site of delirium

Calling on Jesus –

on every poor, renegade pilgrim




Cherries for Christmas,

a coffee to the brim

A paper to deliver in the interim

Many are the things

we hold in common,

and we loved him




Andrew Collis