Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 17 Sept 2009) . . Page.. 4251 ..
had a passion and a commitment to advocating on behalf of vulnerable and disadvantaged people over the years. So I think this is a fantastic step forward for him. He will be a great advocate at that organisation and they truly are getting somebody who will be a great asset for them.
Thank you so much, Roland. We will miss you. But we look forward to being able to catch up with you in the future. Again, thanks a lot.
Mr Ken Crawford
MS LE COUTEUR (Molonglo) (6.02): This evening I rise to commemorate the life of Ken Crawford, a citizen of Canberra who died in August aged 92. There are quite a number of aspects of our cultural life in Canberra to which he was a contributor that I want to talk about. Early Canberra residents were starved for classical music. There were very few live performances and records were very expensive. Friends would gather in each other’s houses to share their recordings. On his first Saturday night in Canberra in April 1941, Ken was invited by Frank Horner, whom he had met at the University of Sydney, to listen to records at the house of Walter Morris in O’Connell Street in Ainslie.
The Canberra Recorded Music Society, a record library, had just then been started by Frank, Wal, Bert York, Len Cole and others, and knowing that Ken was about to arrive in Canberra, Frank had included Ken’s Schnabel recording of the Beethoven Hammerklavier sonata for their initial recital at the Institute of Anatomy. Ken remained actively involved in the society until the 1990s and was made a life member.
Ken was also involved in organising ABC concerts at the Albert Hall during the war with Wal, Bert and others. In 1957 the same group of musical mates founded the Canberra Chamber Musica Society, which later, of course, became Musica Viva ACT, to bring live chamber music performances to Canberra. He met with and managed many notable groups and remained on the committee until 1975. Many of his favourite stories came from that time.
Fortunately, Ken was encouraged by Mary Jo Capps, the CEO of Musica Viva, to record these stories and other memories, and out of this came a 13-page booklet illustrated by photographs. He and close friend, Don Sams, were both made life members of Musica Viva for their contributions. Mary Jo Capps described Ken as “key to the development of Musica Viva concerts in the ACT and all the cultural and social benefits that have flowed from that”.
Like many of his generation and class, Ken felt passionately that education should be freely available to all. As he was not able to attend university full time, so many courses were not open to him, including his preferred one of music. Instead, he worked full time in a very dull job while studying as a full-time evening student over four years for a Bachelor of Economics degree from the University of Sydney, graduating in 1940.
In 1948 Ken studied maths at the Canberra University College, which then became the ANU, under Alex Aitkin, who had also taught him at Canterbury Boys High