Gordon Murray, former fire chief of the Ruawai Volunteer Fire Brigade, died on January 7, aged 99.

Murray was one of eight foundation members of the brigade when it was formed in May 1953, and served his community as a firefighter for 31 years including 20 as Chief Fire Officer.

He retired from the brigade in 1984 when he reached the then compulsory retirement age of 65.

As the first fire station wasn't built until 1958, he housed the town's first fire pump at the Shell garage he operated.

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Gordon Murray was awarded Honorary Life Member status of the Ruawai Fire brigade. Photo/ Supplied
Gordon Murray was awarded Honorary Life Member status of the Ruawai Fire brigade. Photo/ Supplied

He also assisted in rebuilding the town's first fire engine, a World War II era Fargo.

Murray was a "vociferous protagonist" in the quest for a reticulated water supply for Ruawai, and his quest was successful in 1976.

In 1978 he became the first member of the Ruawai Volunteer Fire Brigade to receive the prestigious Gold Star medal for 25 years service and was awarded Honorary Life Member status that same year.

Following his retirement from the fire brigade he became a founding member of the North Kaipara Volunteer Coastguard, and was recently recognised for his more than 25 years' service. He remained part of that organisation until his death.

Murray was a great servant to his community being a foundation member of the Northern Wairoa Car Club 1956, the Otamatea Aero Club 1965 and the Ruawai Lions Club 1978, to name a few.

Murray will be farewelled on Saturday , 1pm at the Ruawai War Memorial Hall.