Vale Ted Riethmuller 1937 — 2019

May 31, 2019
Ted Riethmuller

Ted was born in Kingaroy in 1937. On leaving school he took up an electrical apprenticeship in Bundaberg, a trade he followed all his working life, in Brisbane, Britain where he met Margaret, and back in Brisbane when they returned from their travels as “ten pound poms”.

He worked on traffic signals in the Department of Main Roads and in the Glasgow Shipyards as well as at Brisbane’s Evans Deakins, both sadly now long gone.

In the last decade before he retired, Ted developed and delivered training to electricians in Mains Roads which he greatly enjoyed.

Ted was a committed trade unionist and was awarded life membership of the ETU.

He was also a committed member of the Communist Party of Australia until it disbanded in 1991. He retained a deep interest in politics all his life, with a hunger for knowledge and a desire to both understand and change the world.

He read widely and despite leaving school early was a deep thinker, who wrote short stories about working life and often contributed to the journal of the Brisbane Labour History Association.

While politics was an important part of Ted’s life, he also had a creative life as a photographer and writer of fiction. His partner of more than 40 years, Katrina, is a member of the Union Choir, many of whom would remember Ted capturing our performances over many years. I also remember Ted and his camera recording many a political, union or peace rally. Ted completed a novel which will be published as will his short stories about working life.

I first met Ted about 50 years ago and remember him as a gentle, caring, very intelligent man with a dry sense of humour. In recent years as he battled cancer and painful arthritis, it was more difficult for him to participate as fully as he used to in political activity. For many years prior to this he made an important contribution in all his areas of interest.

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