14 May 2024


From Parkes to Penrith and across the Blue Mountains and the Rotary District 9685, we have been mourning the loss, the sudden death, of Bob Aitken, a man known to us in the Blue Mountains for many things but particularly as Rotary's best photographer. Bob was a media man—he had his own media company—but he was also chairman of the Rotary District 9685 polio committee, the Rotary International End Polio coordinator for the zone and chairman of the history and archives committee that put together the centenary of Rotary in Australia book alongside the late Paul Henningham. I was very pleased to provide a copy of that book to the Parliamentary Library in this place.

At Bob's funeral at St Finbar's in Glenbrook, we heard of his early life in Parkes and his sporting achievements. We also heard about his love for his local community, no matter where he lived, first in Parkes and then for many decades in Lapstone in the lower mountains. He was a cadet journalist at the Parkes Champion Post, becoming the editor and then going on to be managing editor before moving towards Sydney and taking up the role at the Rotary Down Under magazine. He was an extraordinary man, and we will all miss him very much. The community is really going to feel his loss.