Funeral to honour local hero Ross-Edwards

FORMER long-serving politician and City of Greater Bendigo chief commissioner Peter Ross-Edwards will be given a state funeral in Shepparton on Wednesday.

The service for Mr Ross-Edwards will be held at St Augustine’s Anglican Church from 2pm.

Mr Ross-Edwards, 90, died on Wednesday after a period of illness.

He enjoyed a long career in politics and was Bendigo’s chief commissioner during the period of council amalgamations from 1994 to 1996.

Former City of Greater Bendigo commissioner Maurie Sharkey said Mr Ross-Edwards was a man of great wisdom.

Mr Sharkey and the late Maxine Crouch served as commissioners with Mr Ross-Edwards after the departure of Gordon McKern to Mitchell and Les Crofts to Moonee Valley.

He said Mr Ross-Edwards’ ability to deal with people in a fair and even-handed manner was one of his greatest attributes.

‘’The power of his thinking... he would sit down and think about what needed to be done and then, of course, the actions followed on from that. 

“But by that stage he had it very clear in his mind the leadership that was required for that to happen,’’ Mr Sharkey said.

‘’He had a very powerful brain and was a very clear thinker.’’

Mr Sharkey said Mr Ross-Edwards played a vital role in creating a foundation for future councils to build on and the city owed him a huge debt for setting up many of the structures in place today. 

“Peter’s catch-cry was always ‘speed, speed, speed’ to make sure we made decisions and got things done,’’ he said.

Mr Sharkey listed the Bendigo athletics track, Huntly livestock exchange, Bendigo Art Gallery and reclaiming Rosalind Park as some of the great things Mr Ross-Edwards had helped achieve for Bendigo.

Mr Ross-Edwards is survived by his wife Joy and children David, Richard and Sarah.

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