Sat, 31/01/2015

Vale Bede

Recently Mary farewelled two fine citizens who have contributed so much to the community, attending Bede Tongs’ funeral on 27 January and Sylvie Stern’s on the following day.

Retired Captain Bede Tongs OAM MM died on 14 January after a battle with cancer. He was a veteran of World War II who served in Papua New Guinea nine times, including being decorated with the Military Medal for action on the Kokoda Track. Bede worked hard over the last few years to raise awareness of what happened at Kokoda. He was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in 2014.

Mary worked with Bede mainly in relation to his support of the Duke of Edinburgh Awards.

My condolences to Bede’s son Gary, all his family and his many friends.

More information regarding Bede can be read on

Vale Sylvie

Sylvie also died after a battle with cancer on 21 January. Mary knew Sylvie through her works at 2XX, where she had interviewed Mary several times. She was also very well known and loved by many in the arts community, and inspired many.

Mary also shared with Sylvie a love of domestic dogs and spent time with Sylvie at the ACT Domestic Animal Service, where Sylvie was a regular dog walker.

I want to express my condolences to Zoe, Sylvie’s partner, family and many friends.
Both of these fine individuals leave behind family and friends who will of course miss them greatly. However, through their very significant contribution to our society, their legacy will live on.