In the obituary section of the Brisbane Courier-Mail (9 September 2008) there appeared an account of a man I was privileged to know and admire.
To me Bob Ward was no run-of-the-mill person. As a school boy at St Lawrence's College, South Brisbane, he sat for what was then the Junior Public Examination. Even though he was two years younger than what was the usual age for this examination, he passed with flying colours, securing seven A's and one B - a remarkable achievement for one so young.
Somewhere in the 1930s I became closely associated with Bob in the Scouting Movement. Our meeting each Friday evening was at what is now St Vincent de Paul headquarters near St Mary's Catholic Church at South Brisbane.
We were officially recognised by the Scouting H.Q. at the time as one of the leading troops in Queensland. This was mainly due to the leadership given to us by Bob himself.
As a member of this Scouting group I became close to Bob and today I am deeply grateful for the privilege of being with him in my formative years. He had a deep influence for good on my life. I shall ever be grateful to him for this.
At the age of 16 I left the Scouts to begin my training as a Christian Brother in Sydney. Later I learned that Bob had also left the Scouts in order to become an air pilot, later flying in the Battle for Britain where he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, an award that marked him out as no ordinary air pilot.
When Bob returned from the war he once again made his mark in public life, becoming prominent in many organisations, both religious and civil.
Bob Ward was for me one of the truly greats who has enhanced our Catholic Church and our nation. May his memory live long with us mortals in the land he loved and served so well.
Thank you, dear Bob, for what I owe to you. May your soul rest in peace.
BR CON MOLONEY CFC
St Joseph's Nudgee College