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Vale Paul Mees, 1961-2013. A great loss.

My time on the PTUA committee only overlapped with Paul’s by about a year or so. I was newsletter editor in his final year as President. But I remembered him from my days as an “ordinary” member in the 90s, and in my time as Prez and afterwards, I encountered him regularly around the traps. There were few more passionate and articulate about public transport than he.

Paul died last night from cancer, aged just 52.

As late as last week he was still contributing to the debate, with this video that he sent along to the packed Trains Not Tollroads public meeting.

Over more than 25 years, he made a huge contribution to the transport debate in Melbourne. It must have been tough work in the 80s and 90s, when public transport was being neglected and patronage was on the decline. By the time the new century clicked around, patronage was climbing again thanks to a booming CBD and growing population — making the political sell for improved services easier.

Paul will be sorely missed.

RIP Comrade. Thoughts with Erica and family.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

12 replies on “Vale Paul Mees, 1961-2013. A great loss.”

How awful. I didn’t even know he was ill. So young.
Yes, very passionate. A big loss to academica and the PT cause.

I was lucky enough to have him as a lecturer twice in the last three years. Such an inspiration. His legacy will always live on.

He was a great speaker and I had no idea he was sick. That’s a great shame. He’s done a lot of good work for this city and the rest of Victoria.

Thank you Daniel for posting the video. Paul’s passion for public transport was part of his lifelong commitment to social justice, and he lived this commitment daily, with tremendous integrity. I remember not only his intellect and wit, but also his great generosity and kindness as a friend. Paul, you remain an inspiration. Love from your old Uni comrade, Joanne.

I had no idea he had cancer, God bless him and his family. Paul was a great PT lobbyist. We all need to take example from him and do the same thing to our self centred politicians. We need to spread the word that we need PT not roads.

I worked with Paul for five years and was always impressed by his energy and humour. He will be sadly missed by all who knew him as he was driven by principle and passion. A superb individual even if difficult at times I feel dimished by his death.
Thanks Paul.

I was deeply saddened to hear of Paul’s death. I was in contact with on email not long ago and he told me of his battle with cancer. Typical of Paul he was positive and didn’t really let on about how serious it was. During the 1990s I saw a lot of Paul while he was undertaking his PhD research at Melbourne Univ. I admired the passionate way Paul approached anything that took his interest and also his capacity to engage in fierce debate. He eventually fell out with those cowards at Melbourne Univ. who conspired against him. They know who they are. Another thing I admired about Paul was his fairness to others. If he saw that someone was being treated unfairly, he would be one of the first to jump to their defence. Paul was a genuine good person and will be missed. RIP Paul.

Tribute in State parliament, 27 June 2013
Dr Paul Mees
Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan)—I would like to acknowledge the passing and celebrate the life of Dr Paul Mees, whose funeral was held yesterday. He was one of those crusading intellectuals who simply went where the facts led him and would not stop speaking the truth once he found it. His thinking on public transport and urban planning in the cities was influential at the international level. From the very first time I heard him speak I was a committed campaigner for public transport. He was a brilliant communicator who inspired a whole generation of students and campaigners who will carry on his work—a worldwide diaspora.
Paul was the scourge of every Victorian transport minister for the last 25 years. Any who were crazy or brave enough to take him on directly came up against his devastating wit and logic and retreated destroyed. Paul’s reputation got bigger every time he prevailed. We loved him for his mind as much as his moral courage, and now that he is gone we are even more committed to carrying on his cause.

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