On 19 May 2012 after many courageous years of struggle against illness and pain, managed with stoicism and panache, Michael Callaghan died at home, as he wanted, in the country – peacefully and in his sleep. The following weekend he was farewelled by many of his family, friends and comrades. They remembered an intelligent, vibrant, witty, cool, and charismatic man. At times a man of few words and at others a great story teller and conversationalist, Michael made an art of cutting through the bullshit and telling it as it is. He did not suffer fools gladly; in fact he couldn’t see why anyone would suffer anything gladly. Michael’s art was an outlet for his anger and affection; a weapon to expose and denounce oppression and a tool to help sustain and build the communities struggling for a better world. He drew to him many talented and dedicated friends, with whom he shared his many gifts and achievements. During his final difficult years Michael was greatly supported by his devoted wife Bronwyn. While constantly struggling with his deteriorating health he continued working and planning future exhibitions right to the end.
Recommended CitationSouthall, Nick, Obituary - Vale: Michael Callaghan – Artist – Raconteur – Reader – Collector – Pleasure Seeker – Holder of Hearts, Illawarra Unity - Journal of the Illawarra Branch of the Australian Society for the Study of Labour History, 11(1), 2012, 91-97.