2006 – 36th Anniversary

Danny Gardiner reminded the gathering of recently deceased John ‘Cummo’ Cummins’ comtribution.

Our committee was formed in 1990 to organise a memorial day for the 20th anniversary of the collapse of the West Gate Bridge. The Committee consisted of John Cummins, Tom Watson, Pat Preston, Jimmy O’Neil and myself.

The Committee continued to operate not only to organise memorial days but also to so something long term to commemorate the men who gave their lives in the construction of the bridge.

The work that was done to get to today is a credit to Cummo, Tommy and the rest of the Committee.

Jimmy O’Neil passed away in February 2001. Jimmy asked Tommy and myself if we could arrange for his ashes to be scattered here at the West Gate and that was done at the 2001 memorial day.

Cummo passed away after his battle with cancer on 29 August. Cummo never missed a memorial day. In October 2005, Cummo was gravely ill, but he still made it to the memorial.

A lot has been written and said about Cummo’s devotion to his family and to his union. I will remember Cummo as a selfless man who looked after his members first and foremost, often at personal cost. He was a champion for the underdog and for workers. Cummo influenced many of our lives, including mine, and he will be greatly missed by us all.