Today I pay tribute to John Gray, a respected civic leader and friend from the Shepparton community who recently died at the age of 82. He was an educator who did his teachers training at Burwood Teachers College and eventually was sent to St Germains, a small hamlet near Shepparton. Over the years he taught at Shepparton North Technical College, Tatura Primary School and then Mooroopna Park Primary School. John served as a councillor for the Shire of Rodney from 1972 to 1986 and was shire president four times. He was a councillor for the Greater Shepparton City Council from 1997 to 2005.
John was described as a councillor for the people. His interest in local government extended beyond his elected years, and he always maintained a keen interest in it. He was regular columnist with the Shepparton News for 33 years, commentating on current local issues up until the time of his death. He had a remarkable recall of the events occurring within the Shepparton district and had an extensive network connection at every level.
John made a significant contribution to the Mooroopna Cricket Club. He was a former club president, treasurer, life member and also best club person. The John Gray Oval and John Gray Avenue were named in honour of him and his contributions. He served on countless community boards and committees. He was a man of great generosity with a sharp wit and good humour and has left a long-lasting impression on our community. We are all the better for having known him. I offer my sincere condolences to his wife, Barbara, and children, Kate, Cam and Meg. Vale, John Gray.