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A life of service


Ernest Bongard (Bill) Kirk QSM – 21 September 1923 – July 25 2018

Bill Kirk, who passed away peacefully at his Māngere Bridge home in July, aged 94 years, was a remarkable man who will be remembered by many people for his enormous contribution to Māngere Bridge, Onehunga, and the wider south Auckland community. His was a life truly lived as one of service to others.

Bill was awarded the Queen’s Service Medal (QSM) in 2009 for his contribution to local body affairs and the community. He was a Manukau City Councillor  from 1989 to 2001, a Māngere Community Board member, and a foundation member of Keep Manukau Beautiful,  the Aviation Country Club, the Māngere Bridge Community Patrol and the Māngere Bridge Community Development and Cultural Trust.

As chairman of the Māngere Mountain Domain Board, he was instrumental in establishing the playing fields. He was also very involved in the Māngere Bridge Residents Protest Committee, where he played an active role in solving the problem of odours and insects coming from the Māngere Wastewater Treatment Plant. He was also a member of Watercare’s community liaison committee. 

A trustee of St James Church in Māngere Bridge for more than 40 years, he was also a member of Māngere Health Resources Trust, and the Māngere Bridge Historical Society.He played a large part in raising funds for the Māngere Bridge War Memorial Hall and, with his late wife Naomi, established the tradition of the trademark hanging flower baskets in Māngere Bridge Village. His legacy can also be seen in the Māngere Bridge all-tide ramp, where people can launch and retrieve trailer boats at any time.

Bill was married to the late Naomi, who also received the QSM in 2009 for her many services to the community; the Naomi and Bill Kirk  Park in Māngere Bridge Village honours their lifelong service to others.

Manukau Harbour Restoration Society (MHRS) chair, Jim Jackson, who worked closely with Bill on many local issues, says he will always remember Bill’s “unflinching work ethic” and “enthusiasm, strength and determination.” 

At his funeral, Bill’s son Philip gave tribute to his father, saying, “Bill was not one to have a new car or a holiday home, he invested in his community instead. He put his time into helping local organisations, whether they were pressing for improvements to the waste-water plant, painting out graffiti or supporting the yacht club and pony club.”


Bill is survived by his four children, Judith, Richard, Philip and Roger, 12 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.












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