The staff and volunteers at St Patrick’s Community Support Centre are greatly saddened by the recent death of our beloved friend and colleague, Ian Bingham.
Ian was a cherished member of the St Pat’s family who brought life, love and laughter wherever he went. We first came to know him as a client, then a lodger and head lodger at one of our boarding houses, before his generous spirit prompted him to give back to St Pat’s as a volunteer.
His warmth, kindness and enthusiasm quickly cemented him as a favourite among our staff, fellow volunteers and clients, so it was a logical step for St Pat’s to engage him as an employee. His latest role, which he took on in December, was as Engagement Officer at 100 Hampton Road, a vital role to ensuring the health and wellbeing of some of the most disadvantaged people in our community.
As St Pat’s have come together in grief at his passing there are many of us who have been amazed to learn just how far his generosity spread across the Fremantle community, and the extraordinary number of lives he touched. A gifted sportsman in practically every code, but especially cricket and AFL, Ian volunteered at multiple local clubs. While we’d head home at the end of a long day, Ian would be off to the shops, picking up groceries for his older neighbours, checking in on people – just in case they were lonely – and without fail, lending a hand to anyone who needed it.
“Ian was one of those rare people you could call a genuine role model,” St Pat’s Chief Executive Officer, Michael Piu, said.
“He wasn’t infallible but he learnt from his mistakes and turned them into something positive, dedicating his life to serving his community and always putting others first.
“To Ian, who you were and where you came from didn’t matter, he valued every person equally for who they were. And though it can be easy to fall prey to cynicism these days, to his colleagues and friends at St Pat’s Ian truly was an inspiration.
“Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones during this difficult time, I know we will all miss him dearly.”
* By Michael Piu and Sophie Moore, St Patrick’s Community Support Centre, Fremantle
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