Vale Jack Carnegie

September 17, 2021
Jack Carnegie features at the Green Ban Park in Erskineville. Photo: Hall Greenland

Jack Carnegie died on September 16. It was cancer. He had many friends and comrades down the years and they will know the magnitude of the loss.

Jack made friends as easily among women as among men and, while he had his strong opinions and principles, he had an expansive, catholic nature. In his presence and manner he reminded many of a cheerful, left-wing English squire: it helped that as a young man he had the good looks of an Alan Bates or Albert Finney and that he liked a drink.

He was a working class boy, growing up in Rozelle in the 1950s and 1960s. He never forgot his roots and, while he was among the founders of the Greens in Sydney, he worried about them/us becoming too middle class, too precious, too parliamentarist.

He was very much a child of the long 1960s: he spent time in London, Marrakesh and Amsterdam, but it was Annandale in the late 1970s and early 1980s that shaped him.

Tony Harris and Margaret Eliot were key friends and influencers, along with Nick Origlass and Issy Wyner and Alan Roberts.

For a good part of his life, Jack’s jobs were in the community sector and the union. Jack was a very good type, as the late Nick Origlass would have put it.

As you might expect he was lucky in love – first with Susan and then with Jane who he married two years ago. And he was a fine photographer.

I could not have had a better comrade and mate. It was something to have known him.

The photo is of the tribute to Jack at the entrance of Green Bans Park in Erskineville, where he led the battle that resulted in that green oasis.

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