A TRUE man of the sea is how veteran maritime worker and union organiser Charlie Gray has been remembered.

Mr Gray died late last month at the age of 68.

More recently from the MUA Queensland branch, he originally hailed from New Zealand and first went to see more than half a century prior as a deck boy.

MUA national secretary Paddy Crumlin was among those to pay tribute to their old mate.

“A knock around, decent, humorous and loyal comrade and friend Charlie was about as good as you want beside you in any situation, good or bad,” Mr Crumlin said.

“He will be greatly missed and thought about by those who knew him, spoken about as a true man of the sea, worker who carried the aspirations and fight for our right to work and do it with decent conditions and dignity.”

Mr Crumlin said Charlie Gray’s life membership celebration earlier in the year was one of the highlights of their Quadrennial Conference.

MUA leaders pay tribute to Charlie Gray as he receives life membership. Credit: MUA and YouTube

“He brought the tough working-class humility, ironic humour and watchful wisdom of a true seaman and trade unionist for all to see and be part of,” he said.

“It was both a celebration of him but also the generation of maritime workers and trade unionists Charlie was so much a part of.”

Mr Crumlin said Charlie Gray’s MUA Life membership was properly recognised with a standing ovation from the working-class leadership of their and many other unions both Australian and international.