RiotACT doesn’t normally do death notices but is making an exception in this case:
Canberra businessman and tireless community worker James Malcolm Ritchie died suddenly but peacefully in his sleep last Saturday night, aged 72.
Professional Careers Australia was Jim’s business, but his and Sanya’s extended family of six, being the Rector’s Warden at St John’s Church, Constitution Avenue, Reid, and his Rotary commitments, were his life.
His extensive contacts, gained by buying and selling professional people long before headhunting became fashionable, were often put to good use, as were his abilities to find the right staff, run projects, drive fence posts, lobby, paint signs, and set up Foodbank for ACT charities including St John’s Care.
With his farming and engineering experience, Jim knew that there had to be water below his and Sanya’s Reid home. He drove one of the first bores on a private city property, demonstrating it with glee to Michael Sargent, then head of ACTEW, at a New Year’s Day party. It took the ACT Government over a year to manage to draft regulations to control further bores in Canberra.
Jim was President of the Rotary Club of Canberra in 1997-98 but his and Sanya’s most lasting contribution will probably have been to the lives of the 18 Rotary Youth Exchange Students that they hosted over the years.
At St John’s Church, Jim served on Parish Council several times, usually as a Warden but always as a “doer”, and never as a singer.
Jim Ritchie was so busy that no one but close friends had any idea that his health was deteriorating. That was just how he wanted it.