Murdoch Ross – Civic Honours
We at Gilmore Taylor Associates are very proud and humbled by our long standing client, Murdoch Ross, who has done some amazing things for the community. We congratulate him on receiving the Civic Honours Award.
Whangarei District Council is very proud to award a Civic Honour to Murdoch Ross in gratitude for his contribution to the Whangārei, Parua Bay and Whangārei Heads communities.
Born into one of Whangārei Heads’ first Scottish settler families, Murdoch was destined to be an integral part of the Heads’ community, although few could have
anticipated the extent and impact of the contribution he would make.
Educated in Parua Bay and Whangārei, on leaving school Murdoch went to work on the family farm where he quickly displayed a talent for recognising and breeding quality stock. This skill led him to the stock sales, which subsequently became a successful business venture for him, to the extent that he could purchase four further blocks of land in the Parua Bay area.
Murdoch’s commitment to kaitiakitanga led him to covenant a significant and sensitive area of this land.
He engaged in weed and pest eradication and fenced wetlands with the aim of encouraging the return of native flora and fauna to the area by providing food and habitat for bees and birds.
Well known and respected in the community, in the early 1980s, Murdoch was elected to the role of chair of the Parua Bay Hall Committee. This was a huge
achievement and expression of faith in his abilities, given the monumental task required at the time to revitalise community interest in managing and using the hall.
He proved he was more than up to the task. At Murdoch’s instigation, and in collaboration with other prominent residents, the idea was floated for an expanded community centre, including a gymnasium and squash courts, meeting rooms, large kitchen facilities and adjacent bowling club and rugby fields.
This bold move for a small community gained momentum thanks to Murdoch’s negotiating skills and diplomacy.
He also made a substantial contribution to fundraising for the project, donating proceeds from bull servicing hire and gifting Ross family land from adjacent farms to accommodate the much-expanded complex.
Murdoch remained chair of the Parua Bay Community Centre for many more years, ensuring the smooth operation of the centre and the completion of improvements to the land surrounding it. In 1998, the Ross family established a charitable trust to administer the sports ground adjacent to the hall on family land, with Murdoch donating a portion of profits from cattle sales to the trust to help in the administration of these sports fields.
In 1992, Murdoch co-ordinated community interest to get the much-needed Parua Bay Medical Centre built and the doctors’ surgery established in the village area.
Murdoch’s determination to pursue goals, his strength of character and resolve are qualities from which we can all learn. His is a familiar face and smile around the Parua Bay village where he is universally respected and liked. He continues to keep in touch with Whangārei Heads’ people, and to help Heads’ residents build ties with each other and their community.
It is something to be celebrated for a person with disabilities to rise above their significant challenges to put the service of others ahead of their own needs, and Murdoch Ross is such a person.
For this we honour him.
Her Worship the Mayor Sheryl Mai