Remembering Franz, Jax and Velma

Sadly three wonderful members of the local LGBTIQ community have sadly passed away in recent weeks. We taker a moment to remember the contributions of Franz, Jax and Velma.

Franz PribelFranz Pribel

Respected community member Franz Pribel passed away last month after a long illness. Franz was a long standing volunteer at Gay and Lesbian Community Services – now Living Proud, and the WA AIDS Council’s Mensline.

Franz has been remembered by his many friends and colleagues for his great friendships, his generosity and understanding and his great wit and dry sense of humour.

Franz was a medical practitioner and prominent member of the LGBTIQ community at the height of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s and early 1990s, long before effective medications were available. Franz lost many friends and a partner to HIV.

Franz is survived by his partner Gary, who we send our sincere condolences to.





Velma LeggoVelma Leggo

Velma featured in OUTinPerth in 2016 celebrating her 90th birthday. Sadly she passed away at the end of April.

June Lowe, from GRAI: Gay and Lesbian Rights in Ageing, shared with us that Velma’s life included a successful nursing career which took her to Melbourne, South Australia and back to WA.

In the 1950’s Velma house in Floreat was a popular venue for parties with its historic curved bar that people were known to dance upon. It was a time long before the emerged of LGBTIQ venues.

Like other women of her age, Velma’s social life was carefully compartmentalised: family and non-gay friends either never knew, or never talked about her lesbian identity.  ‘Lesbian’ simply wasn’t a word that was used – and was only embraced by Velma in the last year of her life after being befriended by some ‘younger’ lesbians in their 60s.


JaxJackie ‘Jax’ Hibbert

Dykes on Bikes organizer Jackie ‘Jax’ Hibbert passed away peacefully in early May, only 18 months after she was diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease. Her partner Sue and family with her.

Sue has asked that anyone who wishes to pay their respects to Jax, do so by making a donation to The Motor Neuron Disease Association of WA.

Jax was the leader of the Dykes on Bikes group for over 10 years and would rev up the crowd at the start of the Pride Parade each year.

Jax’s friends said she’ll be remembered for her fun loving attitude, cheeky sense of humour, and as someone who was a great friend to many people. She will be missed greatly.

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