The Hawkesbury is mourning the passing of John Miller, OAM, who died on 12 March aged 91. He was one of the most passionate, relentless and determined gentlemen that I have met in the Hawkesbury, and he gave decades of community service to it.
He arrived in the Hawkesbury in 1955 to farm fruit and vegetables, but, after floods devastated his farm, he moved to higher ground to grow mushrooms. Active in the Australian Mushroom Growers Association, he worked to unite growers across the country and helped to establish a research facility to improve the productivity of local crops. In 1986, he joined the local State Emergency Service, and again floods influenced his life. He was involved in establishing an early flood warning network.
John and I didn't always see eye to eye on issues, but we did agree on the need for better flood evacuation routes. We also shared a love for the Boer War Memorial in Canberra—a beautiful sculpture of horses and their riders in motion, which he helped raise funds for. John's very many contributions to the region led to him being named a Champion of the West and an Ambassador for the Hawkesbury, and, in 2018, he received a Medal of the Order of Australia.
On behalf of the community, I extend condolences to his wife, Beryl; children Annette, Ken and Robyn; and their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Vale, John Miller.