Vale Ron Edgar
Ron Edgar was a long-term and valued member of the ACA, including as a member of the NSW Committee and a period as treasurer. Former NSW/ACT President Steve Kennedy and Ingrid Pearson FRAIA reflect on the life and work of Ron Edgar, who recently passed away.
A valued ACA NSW Committee member
Ron brought invaluable experience and wisdom to the committee through his long history as the principal of FORM Architects – knowledge he was always willing to share.
It was this understanding of the processes and exigencies of creating, building and nurturing an architectural practice that made Ron such a valued and important member of the ACA, especially in the period of transition when we were evolving the ACA into the entity it is now.
Ron’s contribution to the committee, and broader insights into the profession and architectural industry, were always measured, thoughtful, insightful and delivered with good grace and a sense of camaraderie.
Ron loved architecture.
He understood the need to work collaboratively and openly for the greater good of the profession and industry and was always open, free and generous with his time, energy and advice.
He was a gentleman as well as a colleague and a mate.
He will be greatly missed.
A great heritage advocate
I first met Ron Edgar in July 1993 at a meeting in Ku-ring-gai Council Town hall attended by 60 architects.
Ron was one of the foundation committee members for the establishment of the AIA Small Practice Network. The Network initiative by the AIA NSW Chapter was created to fill a need to support architects who had left larger practices affected by the 1990 recession.
Ron participated in the establishment of the Northern Network that eventually became SPUN (Small Practices Upper North). For many years following that first chance meeting, I got to know Ron well as a colleague who had an intense love for heritage architecture.
Concurrently, together with Frank Lowe, UTS lecturer, he established a Western Network (now known as Inner West Architects Network).
Ron was active in the NSW Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects as Chair of NSW Heritage Committee and subsequently as inaugural Chair of the National Heritage Committee. He represented Australian architects in Union Internationale des Architectes as a Director for over 3 years dedicated to recognition of Architectural heritage, especially that of the 20th Century and of the Asia-Pacific region.
I was privileged to serve with him on the executive committee of SPUN for several years. Ron encouraged me to stand for NSW Chapter Council, and during my tenure as Councillor we enjoyed our interactions at Tusculum whenever we crossed paths attending our various AIA NSW Chapter committee meetings.
Ron taught me about the importance of heritage architecture, its history, conservation, and adaptive reuse to breathe new life into old buildings. He imbued a social conscience and aspirations beyond self into our conversations. I found Ron to be a kind, thoughtful, intelligent and cultured individual, who took his place in our architectural profession with a gentleness and humility not often found in our industry.
In Ron’s passing, our architectural profession has lost a great advocate for heritage.
Ingrid Pearson FRAIA