Friday, June 14, 2024

Dedicated community servant and advocate remembered

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Shirley Warren was involved with numerous causes in the east Auckland community. Photo supplied

East Auckland has lost a dedicated and passionate community servant and advocate with the passing of Shirley Warren QSM.

A funeral notice for her states she died peacefully on May 8 after a long illness aged 84.

Shirley was married to husband Ross Warren for 60 years. They had three daughters.

She was the founding president of the Tamaki Playcentre Association and remained active with and supported the group for many years.

Her daughter Jennie Warren-Cocks says Shirley’s longest community role was as chairperson of the Bucklands and Eastern Beaches Residents and Ratepayers’ Association, a title she held for about 25 years.

“Shirley and Ross were involved in saving Musick Point in Bucklands Beach after the Government sell-off.

“Telecom ended up owning the land and were going to subdivide and sell it.

“Shirley and Ross got involved, there was a large public meeting, and the land was returned.

“After this the Musick Point Trust was set up and she was chairperson since its inception in 1992.”

Shirley received the New Zealand Suffrage Centennial Medal for her work in 1993, helped to set up and co-ordinate Neighbourhood Support in her community, and established a Woman’s Refuge with Ross.

Other roles she performed include serving on the Pakuranga Community Board from 2007-2010 and the Howick Local Board from 2010–2013.

“The Warren Boardwalk between Bucklands Beach and Half Moon Bay Marina is testament of the work, time and recognition of all the work Shirley and Ross did for the community in Bucklands Beach along with both of them being awarded a Queen’s Service Medal (QSM) in the same year in 2015,” Jennie says.

Ross and Shirley Warren received their Queen’s Service Medals in 2015. Photo supplied

Shirley and Ross loved to travel, visiting locations including Europe, Australia, and around New Zealand.

Her funeral service was held at Resthaven Funerals in Howick on May 14 and attended by people including former Howick Local Board members Jim Donald and Steve Udy, current board member and former chairperson David Collings, and Howick Historian Alan La Roche.

There were also representatives from local residents’ and ratepayer associations, Tamaki Playcentre Association, Howick Historical Village and the Beautification Trust.

“It was really touching to see how many people came considering she’s been out of the community for many years now,” Jennie says.

Shirley appeared in the Times regularly due to her work in the local community and she and Ross received coverage in May, 2015, when they were awarded their QSMs.

Among the people paying tribute to Shirley is Howick Local Board member and former chairperson Adele White, who served on the board alongside Shirley in the early 2010s.

She says Shirley’s particular passion was for the environment.

“This saw her out and about often, particularly in the Bucklands Beach area where she lived, ensuring the area including Te Naupata – Musick Point was free from noxious plants.

“She developed a great rapport with Auckland Council parks staff, assisting them by educating encouraging the wider community to identify and prevent the spread of unwanted plants, especially Rhamnus with its toxic berries, bark and roots.”

Shirley will be remembered as a kind and polite lover of animals and nature who worked tirelessly to make her local community a better place to live.

Her family says they wish to thank everyone for taking the time to farewell her and for their recognition and heartfelt comments.

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