Elder statesman a great Bendigonian

Respected Bendigo businessman and former mayor Warren Cambridge has passed away.

Mr Cambridge died on Saturday, with his family by his side.

He is survived by wife Aileen, children, David, Richard and Janine, and grandchildren Elijah, Jake and Sophie, Nikki and Rodey Jnr.

Friends and relatives have remembered the 79 year old for his love of Bendigo, the world of business, racing and the Melbourne Cricket Club.

Son David Cambridge said his father was one special man.

“He was a very honest bloke and a very good father. Even when he knew we were wrong, he would back us,” he said.

“He passed away last Saturday … for the past four years Dad battled lymphoma but had it beaten.”

At Warren’s last official engagement, at a grandson’s birthday party, he had a fall and broke his hip.

“It was only about 10 days ago, but complications from his surgery were a problem this time.

"He didn’t want to go, and he kept his marbles up to the last minute. He will be sadly missed,” Mr Cambridge said.

City of Greater Bendigo mayor Barry Lyons also paid tribute to Warren Cambridge on behalf of the council.

“The City extends sympathy to the Cambridge family at this sad time. Warren was one of our youngest mayors and was a highly regarded businessman and community leader.”

President of the Bendigo Jockey Club, Brendan Dreschler, said Warren was a great supporter and ambassador of the club.

“Warren will be sadly missed in racing. His window at Silks was a permanent booking,” he said.

“Apart from producing the best race book of any racing club in Victoria he was a wonderful Bendigonian, and someone you would always want in the trenches with you.”

Bendigo High School friend, Basil Ashman, has lifetime memories of a life lived to the fullest.

“He simply loved life. He was a keen traveller, a past mayor, and a Rotarian.  He loved racing and the MCC in equal measure. He did his national service as a driver for Colonel Bill Snell and thoroughly enjoyed regaling us with tales of his service.”

With the motto ‘Service above self’ Rotary spoke to the philanthropic side of Warren as Rotarian Des Samson recalls. “President in 1975, Warren oversaw the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Bendigo Rotary Club.

“He was such a dynamic president and gifted the talking floral clock to the city while he was in office.

“Strong on fellowship, he was very supportive of all the members. He was really an elder statesman to us all. One of his many aims was to strengthen the club.”

As the business owner of Cambridge Press, Mr Cambridge gave many people a start in life. Steve Bright at Barton Print remembers his apprenticeship days.

“Warren’s son Richard and I went to trade school together. It was 1976-77 and I was an apprentice compositor. Warren gave me a good go, and he was the reason I went into business. He was a strong, powerful man and a community-minded fellow.”

Matt Leonard, owner and director of Tweed Sutherland First National, said he knew him as a friend, father figure and a mentor.

“We go back about 20 years. His son David used to own The Match where I was a manager.

"Warren treated us all like family, even nominating me for membership at the MCC.

“Our family attended his 70th birthday party which was the best we’ve ever been to.

"As the patriarch of the Cambridge family, he had the knack of being able to draw people to him and he took a keen interest in everything we all did,” Matt said.

The funeral will be on Friday; further details in the Bendigo Advertiser.


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