A major Mount Maunganui businessman will have another chapter to add to his life storybook after being awarded his first Queen's Birthday Honour.
Morris McFall has received a Queen's Service Medal for his services to the community and philanthropy.
He founded the McFall group of companies, including major fuel distributor McFall Fuel, and has contributed funds, time and resources to charitable and philanthropic causes.
Born in 1935, McFall grew up on a dairy farm in Te Awamutu before moving to Mount Maunganui in 2002.
He and wife Hilary moved to the Bay after their middle son Bryce's quad bike accident that left him a tetraplegic at age 39.
"He needed 24/7 care," McFall said.
Bryce's injuries and recovery was part of the reason McFall established a rehabilitation centre and gym for disabled people with an emphasis on spinal injuries, post-operative recovery and congenital diseases in 2005.
The NextStep New Zealand rehabilitation centre is what McFall considers one of his biggest achievements.
"That has been a pretty major exercise," McFall said.
There are now 150 fulltime members at the rehabilitation centre built across the road from the McFall Fuel headquarters on Hocking St in Mount Maunganui.
"I have always had an inclination to help people around me who are prepared to help themselves," McFall said.
"We want to leave this place better than what we found it."
The McFall Museum had also been a labour of love for many years and one of his "greatest pleasures".
His fully self-funded museum also next to McFall Fuel headquarters displays a collection of vintage tractors, stationary engines and classic cars that have been restored completely to their former glory.
McFall's fascination with machinery grew since beginning his career as a dairy farmer and buying his first 60-acre family farm in Paterangi in the late 1950s.
"I was born a dairy farmer," he said.
In 1969, he was awarded a Nuffield Agricultural Scholarship to study large-scale dairying in the United Kingdom and in Europe.
"I was given an eight-month round the world open-air ticket to study agriculture."
Later in life, local opportunities saw McFall Enterprises grow to include road construction and civil works before securing a fuel distribution contract with BP.
He was in charge of a fleet of tankers that serviced the central North Island, operating seven days out of three terminals including its headquarters McFall Fuel in Mount Maunganui.
"From there it kept growing," McFall said. "We had 150 people on the payroll."
McFall Fuel soon became its own entity separate from McFall Enterprises Limited and rapidly grew into a large-scale operation, from a small, family-owned fuel delivery business set up in the 1980s.
In February 2000 the company was sold to Excell Corporation, which sold on to Downer in 2009 to become McFall Enterprises.
McFall Lubricants became an independent packed lubricant distributor in New Zealand selling four main brands – Fuchs, Castrol, BP, and Valvoline.
"That was how we shifted sideways," McFall said.
Being awarded a Queen's honour was "nice and comforting" to know he was being recognised by his peers.
"The key thing is through life all of the decisions I have made between opportunities and threats, the opportunities have far outweighed the threats."
And those opportunities, McFall said, had been made even more special to have been shared with his wife Hilary by his side.
"I have got a very special wife. She has been a significant part of my life."
Together, the pair has supported many charities including St John Ambulance, Westpac Rescue Helicopter, Waipuna Hospice and Starship Hospital.
His life story has been published in a book for his 10 grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
"It is 200 pages long," McFall said. "It was done for my grandchildren because things in my life have changed substantially."
But he will have one more page to add about the day granddad was awarded a Queen's honour.
Morris Samuel McFall
Queen's Service Medal for services to the community and philanthropy
• Founded the McFall group of companies and has contributed funds, time and resources towards a range of charitable and philanthropic causes.
• Began his career in dairy farming and was awarded a Nuffield Scholarship in 1969.
• He is a past national president and Life Member of the New Zealand Contractors Federation and served as an executive member from 1971 to 1998.
• He is both a Fellow and Life Member of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport and was awarded the Sir Bob Owens Trophy for an outstanding contribution to the logistics supply chain, transport sector, and the community.
• He was a Waikato regional councillor from 1992 to 2001 and chaired the Regional Land Transport Committee for this period.
• He joined Te Awamutu Rotary Club in 1978 where he was a founding member of the Pirongia Forest Park Lodge. He personally carried out all of the site development and access roading.
• He also constructed and installed the viewing platform for the Te Awamutu Rose Gardens as a Rotary project.
• He has been a member of the Mount Rotary Club since relocating to Mount Maunganui in 2002.
• In 2005 McFall built a rehabilitation centre and gym for disabled people with emphasis on spinal injuries and congenital diseases.