A lifetime of service

February 13th, 2023

After years spent serving his church and his community, it’s now Murray’s time to receive support.

Murray finished his finance career at National Mutual in his mid-50s to support his wife Fay who was unwell with Parkinson’s and dementia.

“They were keen for me to stay on longer, but I said, ‘no, it’s my responsibility,” said Murray.

Murray wrote an autobiography in 2009 as a gift for the family.

After retiring, Murray continued his volunteer work for the Baptist Union on the finance committee and the ministers’ superannuation fund. From 1980 to 2010 he was on the board of the Aroha Home for the Elderly in Taitā. For 40 years he was on the investment committee of the National Heart Foundation, and for several years was on the Board of the Parkinson Society.  Murray was also a Justice of the Peace for many years.

A large part of Murray’s life has been involvement at the Tawa Baptist Church. He has been a Sunday School Superintendent, and led Bible Class and Life Boys. Murray was also chairman of a Self-Care home the church established, with support from the mental health unit at Porirua, to assist people returning to community living.

When Murray was retiring from senior roles at National Mutual, he continued to chair the Whitby Development Committee, until the consortium was sold. “Rather than profits going to the two shareholders, we put any money earned back into enlarging and enhancing Whitby,” said Murray.

Now Murray and Jennifer, his wife of nearly 20 years, live at Whitby Lakes Retirement Village.  Between them they have six children, 16 grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.

Life for Murray and Jennifer changed markedly in 2020 after Murray’s cancer diagnosis. From enjoying driving to social events, visiting friends and family, and continuing to help those around him, Murray’s life became much more limited and isolated.

Murray was referred to Mary Potter Hospice at the beginning of his diagnosis and he says Hospice staff have provided wonderful ongoing support and practical assistance.  His family are also grateful for the care provided.

Murray and Jennifer “You’re part of me. I wouldn’t be here without you, love” he said to Jennifer.

More recently Murray was encouraged to join the day unit group.

Murray says “I wasn’t doing anything – just sitting, reading and some television, and the nurse said she thought I’d enjoy the day unit. Now I get picked up by a volunteer and go nearly every Thursday”. 

Jennifer agrees that the day unit has been a big help for Murray. “I think the day unit is excellent, I really do. He goes cheerfully and really enjoys it. The volunteers are wonderful too.”

Murray appreciates everything the Hospice is doing for him and Jennifer. “How I get the real help, is knowing Mary Potter Hospice is there for me.”

Your support today makes a lasting difference to the patients, families and whānau we care for.

Mary Potter Hospice provides free-of-charge hospice care for people with life-limiting illnesses and their families or whānau. We support patients and their families so they can make the most of the time they have left together.

Your donation will help keep hospice care free for people in your local community. Whether you’re donating in memory of a loved one, in appreciation of hospice care, or simply because you believe in the work we do – thank you. It’s people like you that make our work possible.