I rise to celebrate the life of Leslie ‘Les’ Walter Fraser, born 22 July 1924, who passed away peacefully surrounded by family and friends on 27 January 2013. Les was the youngest of the six children of Edwin and Florence Fraser. Edwin, a soldier for Australia during the Great War, was wounded in the Gallipoli campaign.
Edwin passed away, leaving Les at the tender age of six to be raised by Legacy, an organisation which originated from the Great War, whose mission was to care for families of deceased and incapacitated veterans. A true local, Les was raised by Legacy in Essendon, was schooled at Aberfeldie Primary School, was a founding member of the Doutta Stars Cricket Club and was a member of the Keilor East RSL for more than 60 years.
Les’s greatest passion was his family, including his wife of 66 years, Dawn, and their four children: Ray, Ian, Peter and daughter, Jan, a former mayor of the City of Moonee Valley. Outside of family, another passion was travel. I recall over lunch at Keilor East RSL one day Les and Dawn sharing their stories with me of all the wonderful places they had visited and enjoyed together.
Les was proud of his military service to Australia.
A soldier in the 9th division of the 2/17th Australian Imperial Force battalion, Les served in Port Moresby and Finschhafen in Papua New Guinea and Borneo during World War II. During the recent Anzac commemoration service held at the Keilor East RSL, Les was appropriately recognised and remembered, with his wife, Dawn, and daughter, Jan, laying a wreath in his honour.
Another passion of Les’s was politics. He was a staunch Liberal voter, and I am reliably informed that Les voted Labor only once in his life — at the Niddrie by-election on 24 March 2012. But more than for his vote, I am grateful that I met and knew Les. He will be forever remembered as a gentleman devoted to his family and a stalwart of the local community. He will be missed but not forgotten.