Community remembers public transport advocate, Paul Trevaskis

More than 100 family and friends celebrated the life of Paul Christopher Trevaskis  at St Finbar’s Church Glenbrook on Tuesday, March 25.

Born on April 24, 1928, Mr Trevaskis died peacefully at Bodington Catholic Care on March 19.

He is remembered in the Blue Mountains for his dedication in lobbying and running campaigns for improving transport services in the Blue Mountains and Sydney, particularly train and bus services over many years.

In 1983 he and Springwood friend and colleague Edward MacKenzie started the Blue Mountains Commuter Association, now known as the Blue Mountains Commuter and Transport Users Association.

He worked tirelessly for more than 30 years for improvements in rail timetables, train carriages, access for disabled to railway stations, and safety for passengers, automatic ticketing, bicycle facilities - to name a few.

His influence is visible today with disabled access at the major rail stations.

The Glenbrook Rail inquiry, Sydney Olympics and IPART review of fares were passionately pursued by Mr Trevaskis, leaving no stone unturned.

When he suffered a stroke in 2014 he was chairman of the Western Sydney Transport Forum and reluctantly resigned due to his illness.

Bob Erskine, a long time commuter and member of the association, said he had "very little doubt, that Paul did more in the interests of Blue Mountains rail commuters than anyone else in history".

"His passionate selfless interest in the plight of the commuting public allowed no time for transport bureaucrats to duck or weave, and kept Blue Mountains commuting to Sydney forefront in his mind. Paul is sorely missed since his physical decline, but remains esteemed in many memories. May Paul's memory live on."

Mr Trevaski fought for the maintenance of rail and manufacture of trains in Australia and described the future plans including driverless trains and very fast trains as an indicator of the cusp of major changes to how we live in the technological future.

He provided for his family, initially working for the PMG and installed exchanges at Crookwell and other locations and later with Telecom as a senior technician and quality control auditor. He lived in Leura for more than 10 years from 1955. He then moved to Glenbrook and was a member of the Labor Party holding various positions on the executive at Glenbrook branch.

Mr Trevaskis also provided interpretation of policy and complex analysis of economic and social reforms for members of parliament on both sides. He was remembered fondly by state MP, Trish Doyle, who attended the funeral, and others in the party and in government both past and present.

This included the mayor, Mark Greenhill, who knew him from his Glenbrook ALP branch days as well as through his advocacy. He paid tribute at this week's council meeting.

He said among Mr Trevaskis's many achievements were non-smoking carriages in trains and the opening of tunnels which commuters now use to connect the country platform trains at Central with the suburban trains.

"On behalf of the council and the Blue Mountains community, I would like to acknowledge Paul Trevaskis's tireless community service and long standing commitment to raising awareness of commuters' concerns and needs and to the betterment of public transport services for the Mountains.

"I offer our condolences to Paul's family and friends."

Paul Trevaskis was a gentleman and would establish relationships with all local members and candidates across all parties and from different walks of life. He had many stories to tell over the years about the characters he worked with. As a father of 10 children born between 1954 and 1976 he will be fondly missed by a large family of more than 54 members including grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Mr Trevaskis had a strong sense of community, working as a St Vincent de Paul volunteer providing relief and support to the poor, homeless and elderly of Leura and Glenbrook during the 1950s-60s. Donations can be made on his behalf to www.vinnies.org.au.