Adele Horin: RIP

Many Troppo readers will know of Adele Horin who died just a few days ago. When I went to write a message of condolence on her blog I was surprised not to find a long list of people who’d come before me. After I wrote what I wrote I discovered why. The blog appears to be set to pre-moderation, and there’s no-one in the back end who’s approving the comments. So I thought I’d reproduce her final blog post (I hope I’m as calm, lucid and good natured in my last hours) and my comment below – and invite others to offer their own comments should they wish.

Dear reader, my luck has run out

November 15, 2015

As women tend to do, I’ve attributed my moderate successes in life to luck. Yes, hard work and intelligence do play a part, but luck stands out as queen of the trifecta.

I was lucky to be a baby boomer born in Australia. Modest talent took us a long way as we rode post-war prosperity.

I was lucky to have excellent public schools – my parents never endured the angst of the private/public debate. Private was out of their league and it didn’t matter.

I was lucky in my parents. Typical of their generation they were early school leavers – but they were bright and valued education. My mother was an early escapee to the workforce and I was always so proud of the interesting job she held at Parliament House in Western Australia. She was always my role model and at 87 still is.

I was lucky being one of the 10% or so in the 60’s who went to university. But more than that, I also was accepted as a cadet journalist on the West Australian newspaper. These days you need a PhD, a series of unpaid internships and other outrageous requirements. It was hard in my day, too. But I believe what impressed them was I’d been editor of the school newspaper and my incredible coup in nabbing JT and the Jazzmen, the hottest group in Perth at the time, to play at the school ball.

I’ve been so lucky in my love life – remaining friends with my first partner, while deeply loving my current partner of 30 years, the father of our two sons who I could not be more proud of. How did we raise such decent and interesting young men?

I’ve been lucky in having a fulfilling career in journalism and when that finished to have started a blog which has brought me so close to many readers in a way I’ve not experienced before. I hope you have enjoyed this exploration of ageing with me.

But dear readers, my luck has run out. I’m not going to be one of those feisty octogenarians I so admired.

I want to say it’s unfair. I never smoked; I’ve been too much the ‘good girl’ all my life. But the lung cancer detected in 2014, operated on and treated with chemotherapy, has raged back. The prognosis is poor. I hope for miracles and I look at Clive James with hope. Whatever happens, I’ve been so lucky.

But right now dear readers, I’m too sick to continue to write the blog. Maybe I will be able to re-start it again. But if not, I want you to know what a privilege it has been to be part of such a thoughtful community. I valued your comments and your following. You’ll still be able to access my writing and readers’ comments from the past two and a half years at the same web address.

Growing older is a mixture of good and bad.

May you have the good luck to enjoy a vibrant and engaged long life.

 
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4 Responses to Adele Horin: RIP

  1. Nicholas Gruen says:

    To Adele’s family and friends:

    I am very sad and sorry to hear about this.

    I feel angry with myself, because I knew Adele had suffered from cancer, but I didn’t know she was dying, though I keep an eye out for this blog.

    But though I didn’t know Adele hardly at all, I should have written to her to tell her that she was my Dad’s idea of what a journalist should be. Curious, fair, hard-working: Straining to move beyond one’s own prejudices. He was a professor of economics interested in social issues, and he always found he learned a great deal from her columns. There wasn’t a journalist like her.

    So thanks Adele. We all have to go, but after a long, fruitful and hard working professional life, you might have expected more time to enjoy the fruitful retirement you were arranging for yourself. You were called away far too young.

    My condolences to those she loved and who loved her.

  2. jon altman says:

    I had no idea that Adele was sick or that she had passed away, I am sorry to hear this, it does not seem long ago we were interacting on a story about Indigenous employment. I echo Nicholas’s response, I found her to be a journalist who strove to understand and to report in a balanced way, there are other journalists around like Adele, but they are becoming increasingly rare, one suspects because investigative licence is more tightly controlled in the present. Adele was a fine journalist.

  3. John Quiggin says:

    I’m also saddened to hear this news. Adele was a great journalist and always good to talk to on any issue she looked into.

  4. Nicholas Gruen says:

    Andrew Leigh toasted here here.

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