Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 46, September 2002


Contributed by Maureen McCollum

The death occurred recently, in Auckland, of former Hikutaia resident, Bob Morrison who farmed at Vedder's Road. He was aged 72 years.

Bob was born in Thames in 1930, and was the eldest son of the late Howard and Dulcie Morrison, who also farmed at the Ferry Road property. Schooling for the young Bob began at Hikutaia West Primary School, a one-room building, with a roll of thirteen pupils. On its closure in 1937, he journeyed with other pupils and their teacher, Mrs Thelma Morrison, to the Netherton Primary, crossing the Waihou River twice daily.

When the Ferry service was withdrawn, the Hikutaia Primary School Committee provided a bus service and Mr Morrison completed his primary education at Hikutaia. His secondary education took place at Nelson College, following in his father's footsteps. Bob would travel from Hikutaia to Frankton Junction, then onward to Wellington by train, then by the ship, Matangi or Arahura, crossing Cook Strait to Nelson, for a period of five years.

His working career began on his parent's farm and it was not long before he was taking an active role in the community. He was a member of the Hikutaia Tennis Club, the Table Tennis Club and the Hikutaia Young Farmer's debating team.

Outside of Hikutaia, Mr Morrison became prominent in the Paeroa Drama Society, writing and directing plays. He was also a correspondent for the Hauraki Plains Gazette.

Politics was perhaps his main interest. He was elected Chairman of the Junior National Party, climbing the ranks to become Publicity Agent for the late Hon. Arthur Kinsella, M.P.for the Hauraki Electorate whilst he was Minister of Education, during the late 1960s.

Bob Morrison JP
Bob Morrison JP - Obituary
Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 46, September 2002
Bob Morrison JP

Bob's public service saw him appointed a Justice of the Peace, elected to the South Auckland Education Board during the early 1960s as member for the Thames Valley-Coromandel area, followed by his appointment to the Thames Hospital Board in 1971.

The Waihou Valley Scheme which took land for flood protection, saw his farm become an uneconomic unit during the 1972 era, and he and his wife, Mary moved from Hikutaia to Thames, where he began work with the Thames Valley Gazette and later, entered the travel industry. With a further shift to Auckland, Bob continued his career in travel, a position he enjoyed.

Mr Morrison's funeral service was held in the Anglican Church at Ponsonby. He is survived by his wife, Mary, his son, Jeffrey, two daughters, Jillian and Kerry, and six grandchildren.