Yesterday I attended the funeral of Sid Spindler in Melbourne. It was held in the German Lutheran Trinity Church in East Melbourne, which was filled to capacity. This church was built in 1874. It’s one of a number of fabulous looking old black stone churches in inner Melbourne (I think its actually called bluestone, but it looks black to me). My grandfather was born in 1900 and grew up around that area of inner-Melbourne and I can imagine him walking past and going into some of those buildings which would have been central points of the community at that time.
The German heritage of course fitted neatly into Sid’s and there was the extra link that Sid had worked on painting the church in the 1970s when he ran a painting business. The Pastor officiating had an accent to match as well. The funeral was a straight forward affair without a lot of frills, which again was apt – a welcome to country and a song by Aboriginal singer and songwriter Richard Frankland and a eulogy shared by Sid’s four children, who detailed some of the stages and events of Sid’s incredibly rich life. The love of good company and contesting ideas and the magic of shared family memories were themes that came through strongly, along with an immense drive and energy. The eulogy probably went for about 30 minutes, but it was so well put together and delivered that I think it could have gone for twice as long and no one would have minded.
Not surprisingly there were plenty of familiar faces, including many former and recent Democrat members. I saw Barry Jones amongst the crowd and current Victorian Democrat Senator Lyn Allison, as well as Don Chipp’s widow Idun. I also saw a couple of Sid’s former staff members from his time as a Senator over ten years ago.