JOE Crumlin, a seafarer and trade unionist, died on Monday this week.

MUA national secretary Paddy Crumlin, who is Joe Crumlin’s son, described his father as “a legend on the Sydney waterfront” in his tribute message.

He said his father was an active member of the Seamen’s Union of Australia and “a close friend” to many on the waterfront.

He recalled his time at sea as a young man, becoming a foreign going master, an officer with the Adelaide Steamship company, a highly regarded salvage master, and later a historian.

“He was awarded an Order of Australia medal for his historical work and was very active in the RSL movement, at one time playing a central role in military archives,” Paddy Crumlin wrote.

He highlighted his father’s arrest in the 1998 waterfront dispute, along the Patrick picket line in Sydney.

He said Joe Crumlin’s sons, grandchildren and many others in the family have been or are members of the MUA following generations of involvement on the Sydney waterfront.

“He was a passionate, erudite, and lifelong advocate and activist for trade union rights and the rebuilding of the Australian Merchant Navy,” Paddy Crumlin said.

“He was very active with many of our veterans in the Merchant Navy Association and other seafaring bodies.

“Greatly loved and respected by all who knew him, he remained active and lived independently right up to his passing after surgery last week with the support of his family including daughters Kate and Erin and son Sean, all known to many within our industry and union and the progressive movement.

“He greatly loved our mother Erin, another Bondi girl, and held her memory central to all his activities and achievements following her passing a number of years ago.

“Vale Joseph Robert Crumlin. Seafarer, trade unionist, and man of family and community now resting peacefully after a long voyage.”

Paddy Crumlin said the family has offered its thanks for the supportive messages it has received.

The family has also asked that, in lieu of flowers, people donate to Hunterlink to help the organisation’s targeted support services for seafarers throughout Australia.