28 November 2016
When I ran for Labor Party preselection in 2010, two of the first people whose support I sought out were John and Kathy Bonnett. I remember the conversation in their lounge room. It was gentle and generous and focused on the big issues: the values the Labor Party stood for and whether or not I really believed that music had an important role in the good life. When I left their lounge room, it was with the support of John and Kathy, and without that, I might not be standing here today.
John was born in England and, after migrating to Australia, he served in the Royal Australian Engineers and the Royal Australian Corps of Transport, reaching the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He was a true believer and a great friend to many in the Labor Party and served as president of the Gungahlin subbranch in the years shortly after its establishment.
Sadly, John lost his battle with cancer on 18 November, dying age 81. He leaves behind his widow, Kathy, and his children and children-in-law, Kevin and Catherine, Jonathan and Kate. He was the proud grandpa of Tatum, the brother of Christine and Linda. He was loved by his extended families in the United States and the United Kingdom. In the immortal words of Emily Dickinson:
Let no Sunrise' yellow noise
Interrupt this Ground
Vale, John Bonnett.