Vale Roger Keyes

Roger Alfred Keyes ( 1938- 2022)


Roger was born in Wayville South Australia and lived his childhood in suburban Adelaide.


His mother Mary, an accomplished musician gifted Roger a lifelong love of music. Mary was also a politically aware and socially conscious woman who introduced Roger and his siblings to the ideas of peace and non-violence. His father Bill taught Roger many practical skills.

Roger won a naval cadetship at the age of 15, training as a midshipman at RAN College in Flinders, Victoria. He rose to be a sub-lieutenant on HMAS Tobruk before resigning suddenly when he could no longer reconcile his beliefs with his military role.

Roger then trained as an Anglican priest being ordained and appointed to Rockhampton Queensland in 1964.He later served as a priest in Bougainville, New Guineas, coming to know well the leaders of the independence movement including Father John Monnis.

He left the priesthood in 1977. He worked as a gardener and then a road design draftsman with the SA Highways Department, where he was active in the Transport Workers Union.

When he moved to the Gawler area north of Adelaide he joined the Gawler Branch of the CPA. He later became a member the New Left Party and the SEARCH Foundation. Later he joined the Australian Democrats and then the Australian Greens to which he remained a member until his death.

In 1992 he met Ann Rees and formed a partnership for the remaining 20 years of his life.

As well as adhering to the Quaker beliefs on peace and non-violence Roger was very active in support of the independence movement for East Timor and the Friends of Palestine. He stood with the Ngarrindjeri people who opposed the construction of the Hindmarsh Island Bridge on sacred land. In his last years he participated in the climate action strikes as well as publicly protesting in numerous demonstrations for the release of Julian Assange.

Roger was a skilled musician, boatbuilder and sailor who sailed many trips from Adelaide to Kangaroo Island, the Yorke and the Eyre Peninsulas.

He had three children by his first marriage and was loved as a father, grandfather and great grandfather.

Our condolences go to Ann and Roger’s extended family.



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