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A Biography

Ruxton by Anne Blair
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Bruce Ruxton has been in the news since 1968, when he was elected Victorian state vice-president of the RSL. For 35 years, he has spoken out on compulsory national service, South Africa, Aboriginal land rights, Japanese war crimes, the use of the word ‘Anzac' in commercial advertising, and more latterly, women in the armed forces, homosexuality in the armed forces, the Bill of Rights, the flag, Japanese investment in Australia, amalgamation of local councils, the republican debate, multiculturalism and Asian migration. Ruxton has seldom been quoted in the press without the words ‘controversial' or ‘outspoken' appearing before his name. As state president of the Victorian RSL, he worked a sixteen to eighteen hour day ensuring that veterans had their full pension rights and entitlements. He took up the difficult task of ensuring the provision of retirement accommodation and nursing homes for an ageing population of World War II ex-services men and women, and of a growing number of widows. After The Sun newspaper predicted in 1984 that the Anzac Day march might die due to falling numbers of participants, it was Bruce Ruxton who revived it, turning the dawn service at the Shrine of Remembrance into a significant event in Australian national culture, with growing numbers of young people attending each year. In this first official biography of an outstanding Australian, Anne Blair gives us this astute, funny, decisive, kind, outspoken and controversial man in all his complexity. As Jeff Kennett said at Ruxton's last RSL conference, ‘Bruce is a little man with a very big heart and a very big mouth…he has used both very, very effectively.'
Allen & Unwin; January 2004
208 pages; ISBN 9781741154610
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Title: Ruxton
Author: Anne Blair
  • News
In public a curmudgeon, in private compassionate - Sydney Morning Herald
Sun, 25 Dec 2011 08:00:28 -0800
Sydney Morning HeraldIn public a curmudgeon, in private compassionateSydney Morning HeraldIt was almost inevitable that he ...