Respected and loved, vale Spencer Spinaze, OBE
A MUCH-loved and respected Northern Rivers resident, Joseph Spencer Spinaze, OBE, has died at the age of 94.
Mr Spinaze passed away at Haddington Nursing Home, Tenterfield, on Saturday November 17.
According to a notice posted on social media on Monday by the North Coast National, Mr Spinaze who was known by his second name of Spencer, will be much missed.
"The Board of the North Coast National notes with sadness the passing of Mr Spencer Spinaze," the post read.
"Mr Spinaze was President of the Showground from 1969 to 1982... he also served on a number of Government Agencies and was also President of the Zone 1 Show Group for 27 years."
NCN president John Gibson said Mr Spinaze was a dynamic presence who put his heart into the community.
"Spencer was a driving force behind the speedway coming to the Lismore Showground in 1969," Mr Gibson said.
"He was a strong character around the show and Lismore and guided the show through some hard times and when he retired as president he left the NCN in a good financial position."
Mr Spinaze also became involved in a number of community and industry organisations, serving as president of the Queensland and Northern NSW Seed Merchants Association, the North Coast National A&I Society in Lismore, and the NSW branch of the Brahman Breeders' Association.
In 1982 Mr Spinaze was awarded the Order of the British Empire - Member (Civil) for his work in the community and a year later received a Knighthood in the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (aka Cavaliere) in recognition of his contribution to the Italian Pioneers.
He outlived his wife Doris who died in 2012 aged 89 after more than 63 years of marriage.
Long-time friends Helen and Allan Trustum said Mr Spinaze's love in life was to showcase the life and times of the New Italy Pioneers and he led a committee which built a museum in 1988.
A funeral notice said he was a dearly loved father and father-in-law of Merran, Jenny and Paul, Kenneth and Margaret.
On Friday, a graveside service to celebrate Mr Spinaze's life will be held at the Spinaze Cemetery, "Wingara", 335 Ellems Bridge Rd. Piora, at 11am.