THE life of one of Canberra’s most colourful personalities will be celebrated in a wake next week King O’Malleys Irish Pub.
Professor William Frederick “Bill” Mandle, long time professor of history and liberal studies at the Canberra College of Advanced Education and its successor, the University of Canberra, died peacefully at his home in Moruya Heads, last Saturday May 24, aged 80, survived by his wife, Irene.
Known as a larger-than-life character, once described as The Canberra Times’ “token right winger,” Mandle was known for his controversial views on everything from HIV AIDS to Aboriginal Reconciliation, aired in regular opinion pieces and columns for the local daily.
When the UC Council decided to appoint Mandle as an emeritus professor of the University in April 2000, it did so with some dissent and with the caveat that “Council dissociated itself from the views on Aboriginal reconciliation expressed by Professor Mandle in his recent newspaper articles. Council noted that its support of Aboriginal reconciliation was a matter of public record.”
A bon viveur who liked a good drop of red or a pint at his favourite watering places, he was also known as a commentator on the Australian character, once writing of it in the National Times, “Probably only Ned Kelly and the largely nameless heroes of ANZAC rival in the public imagination those who have gained fame in the sports arena or on the race track. Phar Lap would rate more highly than any politician, Don Bradman more than any artist.”
Bill Mandle’s south coast funeral and wake will be held at 1.30pm on Friday May 30 at Broulee Crematorium and after at the Tomakin Club. Mandle’s wake in Canberra will take place from 2-4pm on Tuesday, June 3 at the Castle Room, King O’Malleys Irish Pub, City Walk, Civic.