Today’s Sydney Morning Herald celebrates the life of controversial lawyer John Marsden, whose passing I noted yesterday.
John Marsden, the former Law Society president, died as defiantly as he lived, writes Kate McClymont.
JOHN MARSDEN maintained there were two great cities in the world, Rome and Campbelltown, but it was in Istanbul that the 64-year-old solicitor died early yesterday Sydney time.
Despite having a blood transfusion last week, Mr Marsden was determined not to let his lengthy battle with stomach cancer interfere with his trip to Dubai and Turkey.
Accompanied by his carer Michael Creswick and two other friends, one of them Wayne Flynn, a Sydney barrister, Mr Marsden left for Dubai on Friday.
In an email to friends before leaving, Mr Marsden wrote: “Yes, I am worried about my lack of strength and yes, I am worried about things that can happen but if you are going to stop in this big wide world, then you may as well stop and give up – and I don’t stop and give up. That has never been my policy.”…
His younger brother Jim said yesterday: “John chose not to take advice about travelling in his poor condition but he has been defiant for all of his life and he died the same way – defiantly.”
Having had two bone marrow stem cell transplants in recent years, Mr Marsden had prepared a 37-page order of service for his funeral and Requiem Mass. It includes what his nieces and nephews are to say about him and says bottles of whisky and amyl nitrate and a marijuana joint are to be put in his coffin.
“I have been described as tough, arrogant, noisy and outrageous, over the top, mega ego – but a tenacious fighter for what I think is right,” he wrote of himself in the order of service.