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VALE David McKenna - November 2013


Published in The Age on November 13, 2013

A tribute from the Rainbow Sash Movement.
David contributed greatly to the foundation and development of the Rainbow Sash Movement,
was a highly respected and valued mentor and provided hospitality to many of our meetings.
He sought to transform the experience of silence and oppression
into hope and justice especially for younger GLBT people.
Thank you David. - Michael, Nan, John, Geoffrey, Don, Jan, Tim, Ivan.

From Jan Coleman:
Happy memories for all of us those meetings at David's with his cat purring contentedly on his knees and Dave's laconic voice and looking for some tea and coffee in his kitchen; and all those happenings at St. Pat's. A real standout was his threat to inform all the Oz newspapers within the hour if the guards didn't unlock the doors at the Cath. University. They'd locked out the vocal, banner waving group protesting (along with us inside) against the outrageous anti-gay statements by two charlatan U.S. speakers inside. The guards took one look at David's fierce face (put on especially for the occasion), were convinced he meant business and quickly and shakily fumbled about with keys to unlock and let the protesters back inside. Wonderful! And what about that book he told us he intended to write on the Nazism of George Pell. Posthumous publication? It could be added to David Marr's essay!

And from Jan's daughter Caitlin:
So sorry to hear about Dave. He was a lovely guy, and a reminder of how homosexuality could make life hell back then, thank mothergod
I wasn't born 30 years earlier!

From Jason Hopkins in the USA (who came to Australia to research the Rainbow Sash Movment)

I had the enormous pleasure of taking David out for some lovely dinners - we had such wonderful conversations together (we never stopped talking). He shared a great deal about some of the heartache in his life (spiritual, romantic, etc.), which I was deeply affected by. He had an amazing smile, a contagious laugh, and he was so smart. He truly made me feel welcome. In the short but amazingly rich time we had together, David and I established a strong connection based on mutual respect and the honest sharing of our spiritual journeys. We laughed and lamented together. David was a remarkable man, and I am a better person for having known him. God bless him.

Official AGE Obituary article by Tony Coady

Incorporation: When the Rainbow Sash Movement first started, Davd was the one who was especially keen that we 'do it properly' and legally and become a fully incorporated association. This pic is from the the day when all got together to sign the incorporation documents:

David McKenna on this website:
Tabletalk - Eureka Street interview
On Ted Kennedy's book (halfway down the page)
David's letter to THE AGE