Proud Porirua man held dear

John Ryan – b Jan­uary 19, 1931; d June 3, 2012.

Kapi-Mana News - - OBITUARY -

John Ryan was a man who had a pas­sion for his fam­ily, home, peo­ple, com­mu­nity and his past.

The life-long Porirua res­i­dent died in hos­pi­tal on June 3 af­ter an ill­ness. He was 81.

As a descendent of the Mun­gavin fam­ily, John had a strong link with Porirua.

The Mun­gavin farm cov­ered most of Porirua be­fore it was req­ui­si­tioned by the gov­ern­ment for state hous­ing and State High­way 1.

The fam­ily were one of Porirua’s pi­o­neer fam­i­lies and were ac­tive in com­mu­nity af­fairs and well known in in­ter­na­tional sheep-breed­ing cir­cles. They brought the first rom­ney into New Zealand and won a pres­ti­gious award in Paris for breed­ing rom­ney sheep.

John was ex­tremely fond of the old Mun­gavin Homestead and of­ten rem­i­nisced about times spent there with his fam­ily in its beau­ti­ful grounds, in­clud­ing the golden macro­carpa tree, which re­mains to­day as a land­mark in the re­gion.

His mother, Elsie May Mun­gavin, did not move far from the Mun­gavin prop­erty when she mar­ried Thomas Ryan, a lo­cal baker from West­port.

To­gether they es­tab­lished a gro­cery shop in the Porirua vil­lage and, later, an­other in Pare­mata.

It was on Ti­tahi Bay beach that John met the love of his life, fu­ture wife Doreen O’Ha­gan. They were hap­pily mar­ried for 57 years.

Doreen and John went on to have five chil­dren, all whom re­main in the Porirua area.

John was al­ways creative in life and find­ing new so­lu­tions for ev­ery­thing, with sport be­ing no dif­fer­ent.

With no rugby ground to play on, he got to­gether with a mate to clear the rocks off a field at Ngati­toa Do­main, and the Pare­mata-Plim­mer­ton rugby ground be­came a re­al­ity.

He was also in­volved in help­ing build Holy Fam­ily Church.

He was in­ter­ested in ev­ery­thing go­ing on in Porirua and read the lo­cal pa­pers cover to cover; he fol­lowed lo­cal and na­tional gov­ern­ment very closely.

He was of­ten seen at the Satur­day morn­ing mar­ket or check­ing out lo­cal an­tique fairs and shops look­ing for a bar­gain.

In his work­ing life, John was pri­mar­ily a lo­cal milk ven­dor.

In addition he ran a few small busi­nesses on the side – de­liv­er­ing meat, run­ning a news­pa­per agency and driv­ing buses.

Daugh­ter Jan Ryan said John lived a good, hon­est life and was a hard­work­ing Kiwi bloke.

Many folk moved away over the years, but her dad was very proud of his lo­cal his­tory and never wanted to leave the city where he had spent his whole life.

Pro­vided by the Ryan fam­ily.


Staunch lo­cal: John Ryan, who died last month, was a Porirua man, through and through.

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