Founding PAP member and union leader, Mr Bernard Rodrigues, has died

Mr Bernard Rodrigues with his wife on Sept 10, 1964.
Mr Bernard Rodrigues with his wife on Sept 10, 1964. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Mr Bernard Rodrigues, a founding member of the People's Action Party (PAP) and a former union leader, died on Aug 17 in the Westmead Hospital in Australia.

He was 82 years old. Mr Rodrigues was elected as legislative assemblyman representing Telok Blangah, and was an MP when Singapore's first Parliament was convened in 1965.

Mr Rodrigues was also a founding member of the PAP, under the leadership of Singapore's founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew.

He worked with Singapore's third president, Mr Devan Nair, in 1961 to establish the National Trades Union Congress (NUTUC).

He moved to Sydney, Australia with his family in 1972, and died surrounded by his immeidate family.

His funeral service will be held at St Andrews, The Apostle Catholic Parish in Marayong, New South Wales, Australia this Friday at 10.30am.

Former president S R Nathan had in his book 'Winning Against the Odds' recognised Mr Rodrigues as one of the pioneer union leaders who had a hand in "helping Singapore achieve the good labour relations we enjoy today".

The NTUC said in a statement on Monday that it was sad to learn of Mr Rodrigues' death.

"In the 1960s, Mr Rodrigues was a member of the NTUC Central Committee. He was a founding member and had been the Executive Secretary of the Pioneer Industries Employees' Union," the statement added.