Tony Reid took delight in service
Popular councillor “brought a wealth of experience to the council table.”
Popular long-serving Napier City councillor Tony Reid died yesterday afternoon at Cranford Hospice, surrounded by friends and family.
Mr Reid, who was 68, was first elected to council in 1992 and served a three-year term, during which he faced his first battle with cancer.
Confident of having beaten the health scare, he unsuccessfully sought the Mayoralty in an all-or-nothing bid in 1995, but was soon back at the table with a landslide win the following year in an Onekawa Ward by-election after the death of Cr Ivan Wilson.
Mr Reid, who was already well known from 30 years as a service station proprietor, then served continuously until his retirement from local body politics which was confirmed just last week with an announcement that he was not seeking re-election because of illness.
He had several leadership responsibilities in council, but was best known for his work chairing the Hearings Committee.
Mayor Barbara Arnott, in Wellington when she was told of his death, said Mr Reid took “obvious delight” in this service on council and to the community.
“He had a special place on council, because of his sincerity, his competence as chairman of the Hearings Committee, and his ability to raise a smile,” she said.
“He was one of Napier’s own and he brought a wealth of experience to the council table.”
Mr Reid arrived in Napier from Wellington in 1966 to develop what became Tony Reid Service Station at the intersection of Kennedy and Georges Drive.
Despite rapid growth in the business, as housing developed in Marewa and Onekawa and Kennedy Road became the main route between Napier and Taradale, he became heavily involved in other local affairs.
His involvement with the Napier chapter of service organisation Jaycee International led to him organising a 1969 celebrity dinner featuring South African heart transplant pioneer Dr Christian Barnard, to raise funds for essential cardiac equipment at Napier Hospital.
As chapter president, he led projects establishing Princess Alexandra Hospital, of which he became a foundation trustee.
He was a steward of the Napier Park Racing Club at the time it was immersed in the regional body Hawke’s Bay Racing.
He was also a keen lawn bowler claiming at least four Hawke’s Bay centre titles in a career on the greens which he had hoped to be able to pick up again in the new summer.
His interest in gardening was reflected in his desire to upgrade interest in upgrading of the Botanical Gardens as a prime city asset.
He is survived by wife Lesley and their four adult children.
His funeral details had still to be confirmed last night, but the service was not expected to be held before Tuesday.
Photo caption – POPULAR: Tony Reid