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John Dowson, for the Fremantle Society 15 May 2021:
June Boddy RIP
The remarkable and effervescent June Boddy died on her 96th birthday, on May 9.
President of the Fremantle Society 1979-1980, and councillor for Hilton 1982-1996, June devoted herself to her community and was always a very strong and tenacious advocate for heritage.
The big issue for June as President of the FS was the closure of the railway line to Perth. June was prominent in marches and protest meetings along with the Federal Member for Fremantle John Dawkins, who tried to get June and the Fremantle Society to support Labor candidates in Fremantle Council elections. That June refused to do, and it resulted in the Labor Party targeting Fremantle Society members running in local ward elections. June herself was targeted in 1979 in Hilton when union organiser Clive Hughes ran against her, and he lost because June was seen as independent and a good person.
June was positive, full of fun and light, and gave to her community a great deal more than she took.
Bill Beattie and Ruth Levett have been looking after June, and the funeral will be announced soon.
Mia Kriznic (in Facebook 14 May 2021):
June Boddy - a fearless campaigner for Fremantle takes her final leave from her beloved Port city.
June passed away last Sunday peacefully listening to 'Nessun Dorma'.
June Boddy was Fremantle Councillor for over 20 years elected in 1976, and also went on to become Fremantle Society President and a strong female voice who tirelessly advocated for her community.
(The Fremantle Society is the secret society of Freo residents that protested to protect all our old buildings from being dozed in the 1980s and is why we have a cool heritage city and Perth looks like crap comparatively.)
While a social worker by trade, her passion was as a fierce advocate fighting to protect Fremantle’s heritage buildings .
Perhaps her most noteworthy and inspiring contribution was her fight to have Fremantle’s train line re-instated after Premier Charlie Court closed down the line to “save on maintenance”.
June wrote to Sir Charles Court demanding it be reopened. She set up a Friends of the Railway Group with 800 people attending the town hall in March 1979.
Within a month, the friends of the railways collected 99,840 signatures and handed it to the State Government.
While the Transport Ministers response was to take no notice, June held protests on train tracks and was instrumental in pursuing the Fremantle Train lines re-opening in 1983.
To think a government shut the Freo Train line is unbelievable and to know one woman got it in her head to never give up and take on a cause is truly inspiring!
What an amazing effort June, may you rest in peace, and your story and contribution be a constant inspiration to others fighting for a better Freo!
RIP June Boddy, one of Fremantle’s finest!
Ron & Dianne Davidson:
For the Fremantle Society the turbulent 1980s really started in 1979 with Sir Charles Court closing the Fremantle-Perth railway to ‘save on maintenance’. Les Lauder had resigned as president in 1978 and had been replaced by June Boddy, a very determined social worker with government Disability Services. She wrote to Sir Charles to protest against the closure, pointing out the work that had been done by both the Society and the Council to restore and promote the historic port and its potential for attracting visitors. ...
Both John Dawkins and Society President June Boddy had been prominent at protest meetings and marches along the railway track. They also used to meet while exercising their large dogs on the open spaces of Fremantle Park. One day Dawkins made June Boddy an offer she had to refuse. Dawkins wanted the Fremantle Society and the ALP to work together to support ALP candidate Norm Marlborough in South Ward for the forthcoming council election.100 She said this was not possible: the Society made a special point of not aligning itself with political parties and pointed out that party policies were usually not relevant to issues coming before Council. ...
June Boddy immediately contacted Bob McMullan, then State Secretary of the ALP, to protest. Bob had said nice things about the progressive policies of the Fremantle Society and had even sounded out Les Lauder as a possible candidate for the state seat of Fremantle. But he claimed he had not heard of any ALP push and didn’t promise to intervene, only expressing a hope that there would be no local conflict between the ALP and the Fremantle Society.
But there was. The Society did not have long to wait for candidate targeting to begin. In 1979 June Boddy was opposed in the Hilton Ward by union organiser Clive Hughes, who would later, in the space of a single year, become MLA for Cockburn, be viewed as a prospective Labor leader, and die of an undetected melanoma. He was strongly supported by the ALP in the Hilton contest.
On 5 May a big team of Fremantle Society workers on foot and in cars swarmed over Hilton, getting out the vote and where necessary driving voters to the polls. The message was that June Boddy was independent and that was good: Clive Hughes was described as a party hack which wasn’t quite true. June won easily in a high voter turn-out and received a note of congratulations from Dawkins. Davidson: 74, 75-76.
Photo from Facebook from Davidson (p. 74) from Fremantle Herald, 1979.
Davidson, Ron & Dianne Davidson 2010, Fighting for Fremantle: The Fremantle Society Story, Fremantle Society.
Garry Gillard | New: 14 January, 2017 | Now: 16 May, 2021