Home' Christchurch Mail : June 27th 2013 Contents 11
CHRISTCHURCH MAIL, JUNE 27, 2013
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Gong for great couple
By ANNA PRICE
ran Plains Radio's
50-plus and loving
it and have been
fundraisers for a
host of charities,
Parklands thanks Murphys
BOXING NOTABLE and RockOnz
legends Dion and Cecile Murphy have
added another gong to their stockpile.
The golden couple last week received
community service awards for outstand-
ing contributions to the Parklands com-
Members of Parklands Residents
Association since 2008, the Murphys per-
suaded the city council to remove the
paper road status of the Rothesay Rd rec-
reational corridor edging Bottle Lake
Plantation, plugging a potential cruising
route for street racers from Marshland
Rd.The couple have also worked in the
Parklands Recovery Group since 2011.
The Burwood Pegasus Community
Board citation notes that Cecile and
Dion, with others, produced informative
residents newsletters, and with the
recovery group ensured essential earth-
quake information got out.
However most of their volunteer work
has been in greater Christchurch with
the Canterbury Education Community
Trust, which they established as a fund-
raising body for the secondary and ter-
tiary education sector.
They gave away about $100,000 in
study grants and raised about $34,000
from their rock n roll fests for charities,
including Canteen, prostate cancer and
Mrs Murphy is delighted with the
I was really quite thrilled, she said.
The Murphys are raring to go again
and looking to revive RockOnz when the
Isaac Theatre Royal re-opens next year.
There, they will make a posthumous
Rock n Roll Hall of Fame New Zealand
Star award to friend and quake victim,
the late Murray Wood.
Mr Wood never did receive his award
at the May 2011 Rock fest -- he died three
months earlier in the CTV building col-
lapse in the February earthquake.
The Murphys lost seven friends in the
CTV disaster, including Jo Giles.
The couple have been singing together
for 50 years. Their lives are forever lin-
ked with the big names in 60s and 70s
Dion performed with the Sapphires at
the city s first night club, the Copper Cat
in High St owned by Adam Ferkatovich,
which stayed open until 2am in the days
of 6pm closing. Musicians like Howard
Morrison would drop in for coffee after
When the doors closed Murphy and
Morrison played footy in High St -- there
weren t many cars around then .
In 1970, the Murphys took over the
management of the Marine Hotel, Sum-
ner, running the entertainment and
enjoying capacity crowds.
A notable boxer, Dion was amateur
lightweight New Zealand boxing cham-
pion then went on to take out the New
Zealand professional title. By 1962, he
had an undefeated 17 fights, nine of them
won on knockout decisions, with crowds
of more than 4000 at his local fights.
In an Australian competition he took
on Johnny Famechon -- later world box-
ing champion -- who was inducted into
the Los Angeles World Boxing Hall of
In 2007, Dion and Cecil received the
keys to the city from Mayor Garry Moore,
for their extraordinary contribution.
Catholic schools rewrite
Quake-battered St Paul's School, Dallington, will
combine with Our Lady of Fatima School, Mairehau
to form a new school on the Mairehau site. The
new state integrated full primary school will be
named St Francis of Assisi Catholic School. It will
open in term 1, 2016 with a maximum roll of 495
pupils. Education Minister Hekia Parata has
agreed in principle to Bishop Barry Jones' request.
Catholic Education Office manager, Mike Nolan,
said the bishop would now undertake a further
round of consultation on three options for
developing this Catholic schooling provision.
Liquor strategy red-hot
Close to 500 submissions on the new draft alcohol
policy had streamed into the city council by late
Tuesday --- the biggest response to a hot issue
yet. The deadline is Monday.
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