Vale – Gordan “Slim” Ward

Its a shame we have lost someone like Slim Ward, we only knew him from a trip we did to Tahiti for the inter-pacific. Slim wanted to come along as interpreter and he proved to be much more than that. We learnt a lot from Slim and kept in touch with him with cards each year. A sad loss to Spearfishing.

Slim will be laid to rest this Friday 8th April 11.00am, service at the Good Shepherd Church 143 Moss Vale Rd in the main street of Kangaroo Valley.

On the hearing of his passing someone who knew him better than us contributed the following:

"I have known Slim for around 45 years, perhaps the longest fo most NZ spearfishers of his and my vintage. As New Zealanders we have been grateful to him ever since we first met back at the beginning of the 1970's. He was extraordinarily generous to us as the NZ spearfishing team and a gentleman to boot in the years that followed.

At the beginning of the 1970's Australia held a competition at Narooma and a NZ team was invited. We arrived in Sydney and Slim met us at the airport, introduced himself and packed us into his wagon and took us home to his place for a meal that Glynnis (spelling) had laid out for us. Hospitality was first rate and our education about Sydney's toilets in the area where he lived became a talking point for several years. We couldn't believe that in the city you had to walk to the back of the section in order get a seat!

We were introduced to Slim's shop, checked out his bikes, hitched up a caravan and headed to Narooma.  Parked in a camping ground, that caravan became our home courtesy of Slim for the period of the competition. Generous to a fault. We had comfort, access to the RSL and people arranged to take us diving each day. As I said earlier, Slim made an indelible impression on us Kiwis, one that was reinforced on numerous occasions thereafter when he would travel with Australian teams to international spearfishing events and when he and his wife did a travelling holiday around NZ. He and I kept that contact up until the last 3 or 4 years. Good for a chat, I was often told what George and Merv were said to have done or be doing and how he thought spearfishing administration in NSW should develop. He certainly had strong opinions and could be forthright in putting them forward.

Australian spearfishing had in Slim a committed supporter for which it ought to be grateful. Such people contribute handsomely to the lifeblood of voluntary organisations and I would imagine that those Australian spearfishing representatives in the era when Slim shouldered so much of managerial roles, will be grateful he put his hand up at the time and said, "I'll do it."

I'm grateful to have called him a friend."

Bob Rosemergy

Speaqrfishing NZ

May he rest in peace.

AUF Spearfishing.