Farewell Ed Sullivan
Retired official and delegate Ed Sullivan passed away on November 25.
Ed was very active in his trade union – the Australian Federated Union of Locomotive Enginemen (AFULE). He served as Branch Secretary of the AFULE for 17 years from the mid 1960s to the early 1980s, representing the Locomotive Crews based at Werris Creek.
During this time Ed’s tenacity, his oratory skills and (some would say) stubbornness allowed him to achieve a level of representation that won him the respect of both his workmates and managers alike.
Many an Engineman facing disciplinary action, or worse, was grateful that Ed’s representation on their behalf often resulted in a far more equitable outcome. During that time Ed also served as a Divisional Councillor on the AFULE’s peak governing body, representing all of the depots in North Western NSW.
Such was the esteem that Ed was held in by his workmates, and the level of gratitude for the work that he had done in representing them over such a long period of time, a request was made to the AFULE to bestow Life Membership on Ed at the end of his tenure.
This was granted and this privilege, which is normally only bestowed upon a member’s retirement from the industry and trade union, was awarded to Ed whilst he was still working as a Locomotive Driver – a very rare honour indeed.
Prior to retirement in the mid 1990s, Ed once again stepped up to the plate on behalf of his union and the men at Werris Creek, and represented them as their Branch Secretary – a fitting end to a long and proud career as an Engineman and a Trade Unionist.
On behalf of the Locomotive Division a wreath was sent to Ed’s funeral and our condolences passed onto Ed’s wife Merle and his family.
“I always had the utmost respect for Ed’s work as a trade unionist and am so glad for the work that Ed and his generation did for those of us that came after,” said current Divisional Vice President and Werris Creek CountryLink Driver Bob Proctor.