Condolence Motion: Mr B. Hurn

Adjourned debate on motion of Hon. R.L. Brokenshire:  That this council— 

1. Expresses its deep regret at the pass ing of Mr Brian Hurn OAM, former mayor of the Barossa Council and former president of the Local Government Association; and 

2. Places on record its appreciation of his distinguished service to local governmen t and to the broader community. 

The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS ( 16:45 ): I am proud to rise today to support the motion moved by the Hon. R.L. Brokenshire on 9 December last year to honour the service to local government and the community of Mr Brian Hurn OAM. In fact, like the Hon. Mr Brokenshire, I had leave from this chamber and attended the funeral on 27 October last year for the late Mr Hurn. I will probably disappoint the Hon. Mr Lucas because I will not delay the house to the extent that the Hon. Mr Brokenshire did in his 40-minute speech in moving this motion. 

Brian Hurn was well known to many members of this chamber, certainly to those who have been here for some time, because I think probably in the latter stages of the last Liberal government he was the president of the Local Government Association of South Australia, but Brian, of course, was very active in local government circles over many, many years. He was the chairman of the District Council of Angaston for some 10 years after a relatively short period as a councillor prior to that.  Of course, when the district councils of Angaston, Tanunda, Barossa and part of the Mount Pleasant council came together to form the new Barossa Council, he became the inaugural mayor of that council and served in that role for some 17 years before he decided not to seek re-election in the elections which took place in November 2014. 

Brian Hurn was well known to many around South Australia, obviously through his local government involvement, and I think the number of representatives of councils from right across South Australia at his funeral in the Angaston Uniting Church was indicative of that. He was, however, extraordinarily well regarded in sporting circles, and that was on a statewide basis and also certainly within country sporting fraternities. 

As a young farmer from Angaston, he used to travel what was quite a significant distance to Adelaide in those early days to play district cricket with Kensington. Of course, as a young man of only 19, he played for the South Australian Sheffield Shield side in an international match. I think it was against the visiting Englishmen or the MCC. I am not 100 per cent certain of that, but I know he took five wickets as a 19 year old against an international touring side. 

He went on to play Sheffield Shield cricket for South Australia for a number of years, despite the fact that he was based on the farm at Angaston, which must have been a real challenge. He was, of course, part of the winning South Australian 1963-64 Sheffield Shield side. Sadly, we have not had enough of them since then, but those of us who grew up in that era with an interest in cricket remember that side very well—particularly the influence of Les Favell, Garry Sobers and Ian Chappell, etc. 

Brian was very proud to have been part of that, and he continued his interest in cricket throughout his life. We heard at the funeral that, in his later days, even though he was not that well, with his granddaughter Ashton, who is known to many of us in this building, he was actually able to go to a test match at Lord's and that was something he had always wanted to do. 

The other area I would like to say a bit more about in connection with Brian Hurn is his passion for country football. For many years, as well as his role as mayor of the Barossa, he also held at the same time the position of president of the Barossa Light and Gawler Football Association. That was an extension of his passion and love for the Angaston Football Club as an administrator but he also had a distinguished playing career in what was then the Barossa and Light Football Association well before Gawler came into it. 

He was extraordinarily well regarded and remains so in the football community in that part of South Australia. He was twice the leading A-grade goal kicker in the Barossa and Light in 1957 and 1963, and he also won the best and fairest medal in 1970. I am not sure what the name of it was at that stage; the Barossa and Light have had a tradition of changing the name of that medal. It is now called the Schluter medal, but he won that in 1970. 

Brian Hurn, as was said during the funeral, loved the Barossa. He also loved regional South Australia and would go to any length to stick up for regional South Australia but he also loved his state. My colleagues who knew him would say that he kept members of parliament on their toes. If you came into his patch, he did not mind pointing at you in the chest and asking you what you were going to do for his patch, but he was also fair. 

He was compassionate with many people in his area who I think had some personal difficulties. He worked very strongly through the Uniting Church at Angaston. He had a passionate faith and certainly the service in that Angaston Uniting Church was one which featured a couple of very well-sung hymns. Those who understand the Methodist art of singing will understand that that is what Brian liked. 

In conclusion, the card that was given out on the day for the late Brian Morgan Hurn OAM indicated that he lived from 4 March 1939 until 18 October 2015 and described his time here with us as a wonderful life. 

Debate adjourned on motion of Hon. A. L. McLachlan.