You are here: Home / Our Community / Ross Smith (1941 - 2016) / Jose Perez address to Ross Smith Celebration 18 Nov 2016

Jose Perez address to Ross Smith Celebration 18 Nov 2016

I met Ross approximately 18Years ago at the Factory Community Centre where my son had recently begun in before/after day care. I had been asked to join the committee and he was the secretary at the time.

He seemed a friendly person, polite, courteous and welcoming.

As I became more involved in committees and organisations he was also involved in I got to know him better.

He had a quirky sense of humour, much like my own and he liked to learn and understand. He too had a strong sense of, not just right and wrong, but proper and improper way to treat others and behave.

As time went on and our paths crossed more often he began telling me more about the things he had done, places he had been and people he had met.

Eventually we struck up a regular friendship and through him I met many of his friends. Those he knew personally and those he knew professionally. The reality was that he was introducing me to his family I just didn’t know it yet.

He also introduced me to the community. The organisations that supported and helped others. The places people met to talk and spend time in the company of others, to seek help and to help. He was a part of this, this helping others develop both themselves and as part of the place they lived.

I met some of his close friends and became their friends and welcomed into their lives. “I have a lot of time for such and such” he would tell me after we had spent time with a particular person. “They have a lot of potential and are doing something with it.” I learnt that his measure of a person appeared to be that they would do something to better themselves.

He had a passion for life and living it, a good meal, great coffee, sticky cake desserts, good company and conversation.

After Betty’s passing we shared many an evening at my home sharing a family meal and talking about the day.

How he had been to a meeting at Ashfield and again the executive bikies were missing.

How he had wandered over to Uncle Mickie Mundine to catch up seen so and so there and gotten his visa to Redfern renewed.

How he had lunch with Trevor at the tripod.

He caught a rattler to Milsons point to talk about some housing issue.

He’d wandered up to Kings cross community centre and spent time there.

How he had taken Diana for a walk around the flats delivering South Sydney Heralds.

A catchup with Geoff about an issue REDWatch was looking into.

His Saturday morning coffee with his friend at Marrickville metro.

How at another government consultation forum again they had repeated the same things over and given no real information. Oh and still no executive bikies.

He had caught up with someone he hadn’t seen in some time and enjoyed a coffee and a long chat with them.

He would not be over for dinner the following night as he had a Labor party meeting. He had to escort Diana and keep the natives safe from her.

And how James my son was doing at school, or looking for a job.

He told me about his days riding bikes and driving cars when his knees went driving speedway circuits.

He told me about his life and the people he worked with between Sydney and Adelaide working with carnivals.

He told me about the beauty of NewZealand, the places, the people, the NewZealand show bands and their vocal talent and skill playing instruments.

Told me about his grandfather, the old villan he would say, had tought him how this was built or how that worked.

We would sit after dinner and watch a tv show complaining that the scene just shown was so improbable, yes well it’s just a tv show.

Ross was a proud man, proud in his friends, proud of his heritage and proud of his community, and wider community for those of us outside Waterloo.

He was an intelligent man who liked to share his knowledge.

Ross was an uncle to my son who always looked out for him and tried to pass on to him his wisdom gained from experience.

Ross was not just a friend to me he was my brother and I will miss him.

Time to rest my brother.

From Jose Perez.