Barry-born Australian PM's father dies: Former neighbours pay tribute
4:40pm Sunday 16th September 2012 in News
BARRY-born Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has paid tribute to her father John Gillard, who died at the age of 83 last weekend (September 8).
Julia, who grew up on Queen Street before her family emigrated to Australia in 1966, described her father as her 'inspiration'.
"He taught me that nothing comes without hard work and demonstrated to me what hard work meant as a shift worker with two jobs," she said.
"But above all, he taught me to love learning and to understand its power to change lives. "I will miss him for the rest of my life."
Basil Baker, who lived next door to Julia's family when they lived in Barry, said he was sorry to hear about John's death.
"He was a nice fella," he said.
"They were good neighbours too."
Basil, 93, added: "I spoke to them about four years ago. We used to keep in touch with them as my wife used to do the writing."
John Gillard left school at 14 and worked at Barry police station, Barry train station ticket office, at a grocery shop and as a coal inspector before emigrating to Australia, where he studied to become a psychiatric nurse.
Hilary Simmons, Basil's 62-year-old daughter, added: "We were very sorry to hear about John Gillard as we got on well when he was here.
"He always used to get my season ticket for me for the train."
Julia Gillard cut short her visit to the APEC summit in Russia to return to Adelaide after her father's death.