Farewell to a true gen­tle­man

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Terry Ho­gan (pic­tured) will for­ever be re­mem­bered as a pas­sion­ate coun­cil­lor and rice pi­o­neer, who al­ways worked hard for his com­mu­nity.

The long time Jer­ilderie coun­cil­lor and mayor, re­gional coun­cils leader, Water4Food cam­paign cham­pion and former SunRice chair­man lost a lengthy battle with mul­ti­ple myeloma last Wed­nes­day night. He was 76.

The com­mit­ment Terry put into the ef­fort in his pub­lic life was only over­shad­owed by his com­mit­ment to his fam­ily life.

He and Heather have three sons — Scott, Brett and Matthew. They also have six grand­chil­dren — Thomas, Made­line, Ge­or­gia, Corey, Abbey and Bree.

For Scott, his fa­ther’s pas­sion for the rice in­dus­try was in­spir­ing.

He said his fa­ther helped to ‘‘save the Aus­tralian rice in­dus­try’’ through his role with SunRice dur­ing the decade long drought through the 2000s.

‘‘Dad fol­lowed his own fa­ther’s foot­steps and wanted to make the rice in­dus­try bet­ter, which he did,’’ Scott said.

‘‘Right up un­til the 2003 drought, we only ever pur­chased rice in Aus­tralia. They (SunRice) then had to make the de­ci­sion to buy rice from through­out the world and that’s what they did.

‘‘They also shut three of the six mills down which was a very hard thing to do, but with­out those two things I don’t think the rice in­dus­try would be here to­day.

‘‘I feel proud that he helped save the rice in­dus­try,’’ Scott said.

Terry was a SunRice board mem­ber for 17 years, serv­ing as its chair from 1996 to 2001.

Highly re­spected in the in­dus­try and across the Rive­rina for his fight for wa­ter, he was a long-serv­ing direc­tor of the Rice­grow­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion of Aus­tralia and Coleam­bally Ir­ri­ga­tion.

He also served as Chair­man of the Rice Co­op­er­a­tive Re­search Cen­tre.

Cur­rent SunRice chair Lau­rie Arthur said dur­ing Terry’s time as SunRice chair­man, his lead­er­ship was in­stru­men­tal in driv­ing change that un­der­pinned the com­pany’s trans­for­ma­tion from a rice pro­ces­sor to a glob­ally com­pet­i­tive food ex­port busi­ness.

He in­sti­gated the re­struc­ture to de­liver a com­mer­cially skilled board to best sup­port and serve the com­pany, while har­ness­ing the in­for­ma­tion and anal­y­sis ca­pa­bil­i­ties of SAP busi­ness re­source tech­nol­ogy to im­prove com­pany per­for­mance and re­turns to grow­ers.

‘‘It was an honour to know Terry, who I greatly re­spected for his lead­er­ship and sup­port, not just for my­self but for many cur­rent and fu­ture rice in­dus­try lead­ers,’’ Mr Arthur said.

‘‘Terry un­doubt­edly played an in­te­gral role in driv­ing the suc­cess of SunRice and the Aus­tralian rice in­dus­try and both will be in­debted to his sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tion.

‘‘He will no doubt be sadly missed by the rice in­dus­try and those who had the priv­i­lege of know­ing and work­ing with Terry dur­ing his time with SunRice.’’

Terry was also well known through­out the Jer­ilderie and Coleam­bally com­mu­ni­ties for his long ser­vice to the former Jer­ilderie Shire Coun­cil.

First elected to serve in 1971, he held a seat on the coun­cil un­til May 2016 — when the procla­ma­tion to merge Jer­ilderie and Mur­rumbidgee shires into Mur­rumbidgee Coun­cil was handed down.

While an­nounc­ing his re­tire­ment from lo­cal gov­ern­ment at that time, Terry con­tin­ued to serve the peo­ple of the com­bined coun­cil on its Lo­cal Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Com­mit­tee.

Dur­ing his time as a Jer­ilderie coun­cil­lor, Terry served three terms as deputy shire pres­i­dent and three terms as shire pres­i­dent.

He was then re-elected to the top coun­cil role — by then re­named mayor — in 2004 and re­tained the po­si­tion un­til 2014.

Terry was also a lo­cal gov­ern­ment cham­pion for the en­tire re­gion, serv­ing as Rive­rina Re­gional Or­gan­i­sa­tion of Coun­cil’s chair and then as the in­au­gu­ral chair of the merged Rive­rina and Mur­ray Re­gional Or­gan­i­sa­tion of Coun­cils from 2005.

Hold­ing that re­gional role un­til the merger in May last year, Terry was the leader of 18 rep­re­sen­ta­tive coun­cils across NSW.

It was through RAMROC that Terry also launched the Water4Food cam­paign, to ed­u­cate politi­cians and the wider com­mu­nity on the role wa­ter had in pro­duc­ing the world’s food.

RAMROC chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Ray Stubbs said it was an ex­ten­sion on his role as a food pro­ducer, and was a chance for Terry to show­case his pas­sion for both the rice in­dus­try and com­mu­nity re­silience.

Serv­ing on coun­cil with Terry since 1977, former Jer­ilderie Shire coun­cil­lor Lau­rie Hen­ery said he al­ways en­joyed his time with the pop­u­lar coun­cil­lor.

‘‘Terry was elected in 1971 and I was elected in 1977, so we went right through to the end (of Jer­ilderie Shire) to­gether,’’ Mr Hen­ery said.

‘‘He was ex­cel­lent to work with; we rarely dis­agreed on any­thing.

‘‘Terry al­ways saw the shire as a whole. Even though we were elected through wards, he never had a bias for his ward or a prej­u­dice against other wards.

‘‘Terry recog­nised lo­cal coun­cils as the first tier level of gov­ern­ment, be­cause he knew what peo­ple were think­ing and talk­ing about.’’

Mur­rumbidgee Coun­cil gen­eral man­ager Craig Mof­fitt, who was gen­eral man­ager of Jer­ilderie Shire, said Terry was a ‘‘true gen­tle­man’’ and ‘‘fierce com­mu­nity ad­vo­cate’’, and would be sadly missed.

‘‘Terry was an ex­tremely pas­sion­ate man, whose con­tri­bu­tion to his com­mu­nity was ex­cep­tional,’’ Mr Mof­fitt said.

‘‘He was some­one with a pro­gres­sive mind and a real de­sire to make a dif­fer­ence.’’

In her trib­ute to Terry, his Jer­ilderie Shire leader pre­de­ces­sor and now Mur­rumbidgee Coun­cil mayor Ruth McRae de­scribed him as a ‘‘unique in­di­vid­ual’’ who was also a ‘‘vi­sion­ary and real­ist’’.

‘‘Terry was al­ways am­bi­tious for not only our part of the world, but re­gion­ally and na­tion­ally. He was pas­sion­ate about ev­ery­thing he in­volved him­self in.

‘‘He was a ter­rific leader and had the abil­ity and hu­mil­ity to sur­round him­self with like minded peo­ple who could make things hap­pen.’’

Terry’s com­mit­ment to the lo­cal gov­ern­ment sec­tor was re­warded in 2013 when he re­ceived the NSW Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment As­so­ci­a­tion’s Com­mit­ment and Ser­vice to Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Award and again when he was be­stowed the ti­tle of Emer­i­tus Mayor in 2016.

He also re­ceived an Out­stand­ing Ser­vice Award for 45 years con­tri­bu­tion to lo­cal gov­ern­ment.

In an in­ter­view with the SOUTH­ERN RIVE­RINA NEWS when an­nounc­ing his re­tire­ment from lo­cal gov­ern­ment in 2016, Terry ex­plained that his time as a coun­cil­lor was the per­fect fit for him.

‘‘I felt be­ing a coun­cil­lor was one of the most no­ble things to get in­volved in,’’ he said in the in­ter­view.

‘‘You need to have the pas­sion to make your com­mu­nity a bet­ter place for you and your fam­ily, to live and to work.’’

Terry’s com­mit­ment to both lo­cal gov­ern­ment and the rice in­dus­try was hon­oured na­tion­ally, when he was made a mem­ber of the Or­der of Aus­tralia (AM) in the Aus­tralia Day hon­ours list.

Terry’s fu­neral ser­vice is to­day at 11am, at the Coleam­bally Catholic Church.

The Syd­ney Morn­ing Her­ald snapped this photo of Terry Ho­gan work­ing in one of his rice pad­docks in 1985.

Heather and Terry Ho­gan at the open­ing of the Sir John Monash statue at Monash Univer­sity, Clay­ton in 2015.

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