News 2015 – Vale Ben Leeman

13 Apr 2015

News – 13 April 2015

Vale Ben Leeman

Bernard Henry Leeman (1941 – 2015)

Ben Leeman had been a member of the Humanist Society of Victoria for more than 20 years. He was most active in the 1990s when he edited the Victorian Humanist and assisted with the Australian Humanist production for several years. In 2013 he rejoined the committee and was intending to become more active, until his wife Jean fell ill. Ben nursed Jean until she died in October last year.

Ben was born in The Netherland in a large, poor family. He came to Australia in the 1960s with little more than a trade certificate in printing and two suitcases. In order to improve his employment options he undertook studies and matriculated in 1966, the same year he married his first wife Elizabeth.

After studying social work at the University of NSW he obtained a position at the Sunshine Hospital in 1970. After separating from his first wife he met and married Jean. Ben continued to gain employment as a social worker for the rest of his working life.

Ben was a life-long humanist with a passionate commitment to a wide range of issues, particularly the environment, disabled migrants and Indigenous Australians. In the last few months of his life he was developing a proposal for the formation of a Reconciliation Trust Fund. (For more information on this trust, please contact or phone 04 2687 1426.)

Ben is survived by his four children and seven grandchildren.

Report by Rosslyn Ives