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Saturday, January 23, 2021

Tributes flow for Maitland stalwart

Tributes have flowed for a man fondly known as ‘Mr Maitland’.

Milton Morris AO died peacefully last week at the age of 94.

Born in Mayfield in 1924, Mr Morris was educated at Wickham Public School and Newcastle Junior Boys’ High.

He went on to serve as Member for Maitland for more than two decades between 1956 and 1980.

During this time, he was also the state’s longest-serving Minister for Transport, taking on the role from 1965 to 1975.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said his road safety reforms had saved thousands of lives.

Milton Morris with HVTC director Kay Sharp at Rutherford in 2014.

“As Minister for Transport, Mr Morris was instrumental in the introduction of road safety initiatives we take for granted today, such as compulsory seatbelts and breathalysers,” she said.
“Road safety measures introduced in more recent years, such as ‘Towards Zero’, are grounded in the pioneering work of Mr Morris.”

In 1981, he became the director and founding chairman of the Hunter Valley Training Company (HVTC).

It was originally established for a six-year term to produce a skilled workforce for the construction of Bayswater Power Station in Muswellbrook.

HVTC chairman Robert Cameron AO described Mr Morris as an “inspiration” and said he had left a legacy.

The non-profit organisation, which operates out of its headquarters in Rutherford, has helped create skills training and employment opportunities for more than 22,000 young people across the state.

“It is testament to Mr Morris’ passion and commitment to the value of vocational education and training that, three decades on, the company continues to provide skills training and employment outcomes for young people across its 10 regional divisions in NSW,” Mr Cameron said.

“Mr Morris was highly-respected and well regarded by all who have had the pleasure of knowing him.
“He was an inspiration to his colleagues, students and employees at HVTC and will be deeply missed.”

Mr Morris was named an Officer in the Order of Australia (AO) in 1988 for his contribution to politics, youth and community.

A year later, he received the Polish government’s highest Order of Chivalry, the Polonia Restituta, for service to Poland and its people.

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