Adjournment: Vale Murray Piggott

Our local community has been deeply saddened by the loss of Murray Piggott, who passed away suddenly at his family’s farming property in Brunswick Junction. Murray was a wonderful
man and a true gentleman absolutely committed to his family, his friends and the Brunswick community. He was always the first person to help anyone who needed a hand, putting aside whatever he might have been doing at the time. He had a major impact on the community throughout his life through his involvement with the Lions Club, the Brunswick Agricultural Society and countless other local organisations.

At the time he passed away, late on that Monday afternoon, Murray was doing what he loved: working on his farm, getting the tractor and rake ready for the next day’s work. He was right in the middle of hay season, with 150 acres of hay cut and ready to be raked and baled. So next morning, after losing Murray, his nephew Mark Talbot started ringing around the local farming community to try to get a few machines and the gear needed to come to the farm to help rake, bale and cart Murray’s hay. He told me the response was truly humbling—in fact, it left him in tears. As the word got around, more and more people rang to offer help. Each one of them said that Murray had helped them over the years and they’d never forgotten his help.

A day later ‘Murray’s muster’ happened. There were seven hay rollers, five hay rakes, seven loaders, six trucks and a team of local people all helping. Eight hours later, 600 bales had been rolled, 650 bales had been carted and stacked and 1,000 small square bales had been raked, baled and carted. To top it off, his fire breaks were all done as well. There was a video made of the muster, and it was an emotional experience for those of us who’ve watched it. But it is a genuine example of true Brunswick spirit in our rural and regional community.

It was most of all a testament to Murray Piggott and an indication of the great respect and genuine affection he’d earnt throughout his life. Yes, as I said, it was emotional to watch, but it was also quietly satisfying for those who’d helped. They’d done something for Murray that he would have done for them. As Mark, his nephew, said, every time help was needed, Murray was his first call. He was also the first call for many others. If something was broken, Murray would fix it. He was a self-taught and amazing welder and mechanic, and I don’t think there was any piece of gear that he couldn’t operate or fix.

I’ve watched that video, and to see the amount of tractors and trucks literally working on Murray’s property was an absolute credit to the Brunswick community. I thank every farmer who turned up with a piece of gear to get that work done. I thank Mark and everyone who helped in that as well.

Murray was part of so many projects in the community throughout his life. He built so many buildings on the local showgrounds. He worked in his shed solving people’s problems. As I said, he was a self-taught engineer and mechanic. He loved a joke. He loved farmers’ gatherings. He always had a joke, even at the Lions events. The last one I remember him doing was part of the Blue Tree Project for men’s health. Murray Piggott loved helping others. He will be remembered with great love, with great respect and with great affection.

My condolences go to his wonderful wife and life partner, Val. They were a fabulous team. My condolences also go to his family. I also offer my condolences to his sister, Judy; her family; and all of us throughout the Brunswick community who grieve his loss. From his involvement in so many community organisations, I know that the grief and sadness is widely felt around Brunswick. But we do know that Murray earned all of the respect that he so deserved. So vale, Murray. Your life’s work is done. May you rest in peace.