Monday, August 13, 2012

Vale Ron Hinds 1958-2012

It is with great sadness – and shock – that I learnt this morning of the sudden death of my mate Ron Hinds.

I am told that Ron, the principal of Hinds Lawyers in Walker Street, collapsed in his office this morning and despite desperate efforts to assist him, he died soon afterwards.

Ron, who was 54, underwent open-heart surgery last year, but he never let that slow him down or dim his generous nature and willingness to take the fight forward for his wide cross section of clients.

Indeed, Ron wore his heart on his sleeve when it came to his clients, many of whom he represented for no fee, explaining ‘Well, someone’s got to look after them’. Although universally respected and liked by those who knew him, it is fair to say that if any group was irritated and sometimes openly annoyed with Ron, it was the magistrates before whom he appeared – Ron was famous for not taking a backward step on behalf of those he represented, sometimes sailing close to the judicial wind when it came to his uncompromising advocacy. And that’s all to his credit, as far as I’m concerned. I reckon many a magistrate will be just as sad at as anyone with this news … Ron certainly livened up their sometimes humdrum days for them.

The tradition of Friday night social drinks at Ron’s offices opposite the courthouse attracted one of the most diverse crowds to gather in Townsville, truly a cross section of the good, the bad, the ugly, former clients, the rich and the poor alike, with many of his fellow professionals dropping by as well just plain old friends. These nights always featured lively conversation, lots of legal tall tales and constant laughter. To my knowledge, there was nary a cross word on any occasion, and these regular get-togethers never degenerated into mindless drink-a-thons, everyone was too busy with happy socializing.
Ron with his friend Carole Hart, with whom he swapped art. 

Ron, who was proudly indigenous, was a gentle, shambling ‘bear of a man’ and he came late to the law. He drove cabs in Townsville to put himself through law school – and even doing that, he frequently displayed that generosity of spirit, picking up friends in his mini-van taxi and refusing payment because they were his friends, and just as often, letting off the needy who couldn’t pay, which he usually did without anger and with his trademark understanding.

It is sadly ironic that Ron paid his way into the law by driving, but his surgery last year put an end to his driving, including long, regular hauls out west Mt Isa and Doomagee. That task over the past year had fallen to his close mate and professional colleague, barrister Mark ‘Sludge’ Donnelly, to whom I offer my sincere condolences.

So many people from so many walks of life will miss Ron – I certainly will - but we will be all happy to know that we shared in a life so well spent.

Vale, Ron.  


  1. Sad news .. he must've been needed upstairs .. he'll be missed by many .. a bloody good bloke!

  2. One of Nature's true gentlemen; he will genuinely be missed.

  3. Former Bully journoAugust 13, 2012 at 5:14 PM

    He was easily one of the most colourful and respected characters up in the court complex. I think your tribute sums his nature up well, Magpie.

    He didn't hesitate to let you know if he wasn't happy with something, but in the same breath, he'd happily help you with anything you needed as well.

    Sad news indeed. RIP Ron.

  4. Rest easy Ron, thank you for your time. Noel

  5. My condolences to Ron's family, friends and fantastic staff. I'll miss seeing you around the courts. Always a friendly wave and chat. Vale Ron.

  6. A sad day for humanity. He was a man among men who never forgot what he stood for despite his success. The boy upstairs has got himself a fantastic advocate for the hard done by. You will make an awesome team.

    Thanks Ron for reminding me what life should really be about. Will Miss you mate!

  7. Thank you Magpie for putting may others thoughts to words. One of the best joining many of the best.
    Vale Ron RIP.

  8. With sadness in our hearts we grieve this sad sad loss. Uncle Ron as our family called him. He protected and shielded the vulnerable from the perversion of those that should be upholding the law and gave us courage to stand up and fight. We are in shock. What an incredible loss for Townsville and surrounds. He was a valiant warrior. Rest in Peace Uncle Ronnie

  9. Ron you are dearly missed, RIP heaven is now your highway.


  10. Sad news Pie. A very sad loss to the legal fraternity and to the many that he cared for and helped in life. The Third Reader.

  11. Ron,

    You will be dearly missed. I loved tasting your indigenous cooking. Wow, your end of year parties were such fun. You were a very lovely man. I will always remember your friendly smiles that you gave me.
    Suzanne media.

  12. It was just the other day we spoke, that drink we were going to have will have to be a another time another place. Although, I remember we had that drink last year when we met, you spoke of your medical experiences and was so delighted to learn that you were speaking to a Nurse. So, yes Ronnie I will be seeing you some day, asking you about that other drink we were going to have. After my son met you, he said the other week "Mummy he is so funny, I like him" and I replied, "You are right and like him too". Thank you for all your wisdom, help and kindness, it was so lovely to meet such a beautiful person as yourself Ron.

    I wish I was there to help you....

    Peaceful travels, you are in our thoughts. I'll be seeing you some day xo.

    Kellie J Dally-Watkins

  13. Yes Ron, you did drive us a bit crazy at times, but your staunch, persistent and cheeky advocacy was always intended to be in the best interests of your clients. The indigenous community especially will be the poorer for the loss of your generosity and passion.

  14. Law school days with Ron were always full of laughs and interesting conversations ... Ron always came from a very practical slant, and despite his extraordinary compassion for the underdog, you could never accuse Ron of being PC just for the sake of it. My condolences to his family, friends and staff from WA.

  15. Dear Ronny,

    You were always kind and warm hearted to all who dealt with you. May God smile upon your life and all the charitable works you performed for those in need. May the Angels escort you to heaven and present you to the Most High. May you soul rest in peace Ronny. God's Peace be with you until we meet again my good friend.

  16. I first met Ronnie when I was 2 when he met my mother Debbie Sydenham.i spent 6 years with this great man .He taught me how to read and write also taught me to play footy.Our whole family is saddened by the passing of Ronnie Hinds and may his gentle heart and soul Rest In Peace<3....he will forever be etched in our hearts.....Gavin Hughes

  17. Rest In Peace will be sadly missed ...such a beautiful & caring man, i am so glad we crossed paths...thank you for your support & friendship...deepest sympathy to your dear family & friends...donna x