Monday, 30 November 2020
Statements by Members
McKern, Mr Gordon, OAM
I rise to acknowledge the passing of Gordon McKern OAM. Gordon was a giant, in Bendigo, a successful business and community leader. He was described in this place as a living treasure, and that he was. He received the Medal of the Order of Australia for outstanding service to the community. Gordon was somebody you could always chat to about the future and the vision for Bendigo and, until the very end, was a strong advocate for reform in our area.
He was awarded Eagle Hawk Citizen of the Year and Bendigo Citizen of the Year. He was a passionate advocate for the arts, being the first and former chair of the Ulumbarra Foundation, the former chair of the Bendigo Art Gallery and the first and former chair of the Aspire Foundation. He also served in local government. He was the first chief commissioner of the Mitchell Shire Council as well as being involved in what later became the City of Greater Bendigo.
Gordon was a gentleman. To this day, I don't know whether he voted for our side or the other side, because he came from a time when you didn't discuss such things. He will be missed. He was a big part of the heart of Bendigo, and I know that his family will miss him deeply. He was a loving grandfather of 18 children and a great-grandfather to 19, all of whom we are thinking of today. Thank you, Gordon, for your service.