ALP stalwart Bob Downing passes

Bob Downing and Roger Lucas

Bob Downing and Roger Lucas

A man who was well-known in political circles, Robert John (Bob) Downing has passed away.

Mr Downing was a long-time member of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) and worked as a Veterinary Officer for the Department of Agriculture for most of his life. 

He joined the local branch when he came to Goulburn in 1981 and was active right up until his passing. 

His father, Reg Downing, was a NSW Upper House member who served in the Cabinet of Premier Joe Cahill as Minister of Justice Attorney General. 

“Bob was highly regarded by his fellow Party members and in 1997 after over 40 years of service to the Party, he was awarded Life Membership,” Dr Ursula Stephens said.

Goulburn Labor President Jason Shepherd said Mr Downing would be missed.

“We are saddened by the lose of a such a local Labor legend and a defender of the unions. He will be greatly missed,” Mr Shepherd said. 

Mr Downing joined the ALP in January, 1953 at the Hunters Hill Branch and was a member of the Gladesville Branch.

In 1963, he moved to Narrandera Branch and began a period of almost 20 years of activism in rural areas of NSW.  

In 1965, Bob was Al Grassby’s Deputy Campaign Director in the seat of Murrumbidgee and then Campaign Director in 1966 for the Riverina electorate.  

From 1967 to 1981, Bob was the Secretary of Dubbo Branch and a delegate to Dubbo SEC and Gwydir FEC.  Bob was the ALP candidate for Gwydir at the 1972 Federal Election.

His funeral will be on Friday, September 21 at Our Lady of Fatima Church, Goulburn at 12 noon.