Vale Michael Somes

by Brumbies Media
The ACT and Southern NSW Rugby Union are mourning the passing of Michael Somes who has passed away peacefully after battling cancer for several years. 

An ACT man through and through having been born, raised, educated and employed in Canberra.

He began his primary education at St Christopher’s Cathedral school followed by secondary schooling at the local rugby nursery of St Edmund’s College. 

Michael went on to become a law student at the Australian National University and following graduation, he joined an old established law firm, then known as Gallens.

There he distinguished himself as a solicitor and in late 1985 he was invited by the federal Attorney General to take up a judicial position as a Magistrate and Coroner. 

Michael accepted this offer and began his judicial career in January 1986 where he contributed to the community for 21 years until he retired from the bench in July 2007. 
Throughout his life Michael was an extremely passionate rugby man and was fond of saying, with his tongue firmly planted in his cheek, “St Edmund’s College has produced three great half-backs - Ricky Stuart, George Gregan and me".
Michael was well known in local rugby circles and on 25 March 2003 was invited to join the ACT Rugby Judiciary where he went on to become the Deputy Chair of the Judiciary and from 2009 served as Chair until his passing earlier this week.

For several years he also served as a Citing Commissioner for Rugby Australia. 

Michael was known for his fairness, good humour and knowledge of the game.

The Brumbies family extends its condolences to Michael’s wife, children and extended family.  He will be missed by the rugby community. 

Stuart Pilkinton SC said: "I will always be grateful to Michael for sponsoring my appointment to the Judiciary in 2003."

"Working with him was like a masterclass in conducting a hearing where often the cited player came from a different cultural background.

"Michael had a real ‘feel’ for the game. He always had the right balance. No one who appeared before Michael could complain that he had received an unfair hearing.
"Michael has moved to the sideline in the game they play in heaven. He will be forever missed."