BRYCE Gaudry, who held the state seat of Newcastle for the ALP for almost 16 years, died on Friday from pancreatic cancer, diagnosed in 2016 and which had spread to his lungs. He was 76.
Together with his wife, Barbara, a Newcastle councillor from 1999 to 2008, Bryce used his public profile to do what he could to highlight the needs of people living with cancer - especially those coping with the various forms of cancer in their latter, advanced stages.
The Gaudreys worked closely with the Cancer Council, and earlier this year promoted a podcast series commissioned by the council called The Thing About Advanced Cancer.
Bryce was an advocate of medicinal cannabis in alleviating the nausea that often accompanies chemotherapy in cancer treatment.
He was also familiar with the pressures that cancer can put on the families of those being treated, after Barbara was treated for acute myeloid leukemia, just as her husband was beginning his political career.
Gaudry entered NSW parliament in 1991, having won the seat back for Labor after a single term by Independent George Keegan.
He lost preselection in 2006 as part of cross-factional deal that saw him dumped in favour of "star candidate" Jodi McKay, now opposition leader representing the Sydney seat of Strathfield.
He contested the 2007 election as an Independent after resigning from the ALP.
About 30 branch members, including Barbara, were expelled from the party for supporting him.
Newcastle MP Tim Crakanthorp described Mr Gaudry as a friend and a mentor.
"Bryce was a man of the people - a man of the utmost integrity who never wavered in the face of injustice or inequity," Crakanthorp said.
"These were qualities that I strongly admired and respected in my many years of knowing and working with Bryce."
MORE TO COME
While you're with us, did you know Newcastle Herald offers breaking news alerts, daily email newsletters and more? Keep up to date with all the local news - sign up here.
IN NEWS TODAY: