Long-term queer-community volunteer Harry Walford died this month after a lengthy illness.
Ubiquitous at community events over the past 20 years, Walford proudly showed off the lanyard, T-shirt and cap that became the armour of the many volunteer roles he undertook. He was a central part of the landscape of queer community groups such as Midsumma Festival, Pride March, the Melbourne Queer Film Festival and more.
Walford’s contribution spanned all facets of the day-to-day running of queer community events — a staple fixture of the office, a familiar face at major events and a much relied-upon jack-of-all-trades at any time.
Walford possessed a fiercely single-visioned independence that he utilised to wield influence over other volunteers, event staff and boards of management and with which he carried out an indispensable (albeit sometimes self-appointed) string of roles that contributed to the year-to-year running of community events.
No task was too great for Walford, nor was any task beneath him. For this unbridled enthusiasm, he was rewarded with Life Membership of Midsumma in 2000 and received a special certificate of appreciation from the Pride March Committee just weeks before his death.
Walford will be remembered by those who worked alongside him for his great passion, larrikinism, sense of fair play and commitment to the community.
By Brenton Geyer