Farewell to "Bud" Tingwell

It was with great sadness that I received the news from home of the death of Charles "Bud" Tingwell! Bud was a great friend to the palliative care sector, not only via his heartfelt performances in Alan Hopgood's play "The Carer", but by his generous promotion of the philosophy and providers of palliative care, particularly in Victoria. It is because of Bud in fact, that I met Alan!

Let me paint a picture for you. I was asked to be responsible for the launch of National Palliative Care Awareness Week in 2005, ( a somewhat daunting task). I was wracking my brains to think of a high profile public figure who would not only understand palliative care, but entertain and educate the audience. We'd managed to get a wonderful venue at Federation Square, catering and all the other arrangements were made and all that was missing was the guest speaker! I don't know how I managed it, but I got a phone number for Bud from the phonebook and rang the number, expecting to speak to his manager or secretary. Lo and behold, when the phone was answered, it was the great man himself! I introduced myself and explained to him what I was after. We talked for some time on the phone and I must say I hung up thinking what a kind and accommodating man he was. Bud put me on to Jo Baker, his manager, to make sure the date was free...........and the rest is history. Bud did an amazing job, and in the true spirit of the man he was, he didn't charge us anything because he believed in the importance of spreading the word of palliative care into the community.

I grew up watching Bud in children's shows on the telly as well as in classic Australian movies like "Smiley" with "Chips" Rafferty and later "The Castle". I saw him in multiple award winning British movies made in the 40's and 50's (of course I saw them in the '70's and 80's), including "The Desert Rats".

There are two roles I will remember him most fondly for, the first of which was a regular segment on "The Late Show" (also a Working Dog production) called "Charlie the Wonderdog" in which Bud played "Gramps", a funny old bloke whose dog could always avert a crisis, despite being visibly dragged along on a lead by the off-screen handler. The second, very poignant role was that of a bereaved husband in "Tulip" directed by Rachael Griffiths in the late '90's. This is a beautiful short film that clearly demonstrated Bud's empathy and humour.

Bud lived an amazingly rich life, a loving wife and family and a body of work that will continue to give joy and entertainment to many in the future. He will be sadly missed, but the thing I will remember most fondly about Bud is that even though he had received an Order of Australia and was a household name for as long as I can remember, he answered his own phone and said "yes" to some woman he didn't know from a bar of soap who called him 'out of the blue' and asked a favour. Now that's generosity!

You can read more about Bud by following the link: http://www.budtingwell.com.au/blog

1 comment:

emmie said...

really sad hey . they are having A state funeral today at st pauls