February 18th 2006

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: AWB biggest scandal to hit the Howard Government

EDITORIAL: Tide turns on global capitalism

SCHOOLS: Why our children don't know history

ECONOMICS: Sky's the limit with CEO pay increases

EDUCATION AND TRAINING: Engineer shortage hurting economy

RURAL CRISIS: Black Friday for Canadian farmers

MEDICAL: Abortion pill a bonanza for lawyers

STRAWS IN THE WIND: The humbug revolution / Iran / Bush, oil addiction and the environment

AUSTRALIAN SOCIETY: Is pornography just harmless fun?

ENTERTAINMENT: American awards honour traditional values

EAST TIMOR: Will Indonesian military be let off the hook?

WAR ON TERROR: Tackling a home-grown security threat

OPINION: 'Human rights' charter a backward step

OBITUARY: Colin Pike, champion of the underdog

Religious persecution during the Spanish Civil War (letter)

B.A. Santamaria on Toynbee's 'creative minorities' (letter)

BOOKS: MANHOOD: An action plan for changing men's lives, by Steve Biddulph

BOOKS: HEAD OF STATE: The Governor-General, the Monarchy, the Republic and the Dismissal, by Sir David Smith

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Colin Pike, champion of the underdog

by John Barich

News Weekly, February 18, 2006
Vale Colin Pike (b: January 15, 1935 - d: January 26, 2006)

Long-standing Western Australian National Civil Council supporter and activist, Colin Pike, died tragically on Australia Day in a car accident in which he was one of three people killed. He had just returned from a stint in the mission field in Macao.

According to his wife Anne-Marie who, at the time of the accident, was following a van driven by Colin, her husband swerved to protect their 14-year-old son David rather than save himself.

Years before, Colin had married into the legendary Daly family, three generations of whom, like Colin himself, have been prominently associated with the NCC in WA.

Colin's father-in-law Terry Daly, led the struggle there against the communists in the unions. He died while in charge of the NCC in WA.

Colin's early career was spent working as a clerk for the wine and liquor merchant, Lionel Samson. He was also a natural salesman and had a knack of negotiating with people.

His daughter Emma recalls: "When at shows, swapmeets and markets, Dad was known to say to his customers, 'Would anyone like some help? Anyone want anything to buy? ... Would anyone like a kiss?' The customers would smile, but we kids would shrink under the table."

Colin was also a gifted public speaker. According to his daughter Clare, "He used any opportunity to speak. His three loves were the Church, his family and his country, but if he had a captive audience, his first preference was to talk about the need for us all to have a relationship with God and to fight evil at every opportunity."

Colin loved music and could sing, dance and play the piano and drums.

As a young man, he played A-grade football, cricket and water polo, and swam competitively in WA's rough coastal waters.

Colin was baptised into the Catholic church when he was in his late thirties. Through the Catholic Social Club - of which he later became president - he met his future wife with whom he had eight children.

He always had a particular respect for priests and missionaries. One Fr Luis Ruiz SJ, a missionary helping lepers and HIV sufferers in China, particularly captured Colin's heart.

He was always known for championing the underdog.

His daughter Emma recalls: "The team or group of people that had no chance of winning - no skill, no hope - Dad supported them! A good example? The (Fremantle FC) Dockers!"

Colin also worked with people with intellectual disabilities for more than 25 years. He was always gentle and patient with them, believing there was something special in everyone, especially those who were marginalised in some way.

Requiescat in pace.

  • John Barich is WA state president of the NCC

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