Friday, February 10, 2012

RIP Lloyd

It is with sadness that we heard today of the death of Lloyd Morrison, at the far-too-young age of 54; the Dom-Post reports: '

Business leaders and politicians have shared tributes to Lloyd Morrison's passion for Wellington, business and football.

Morrison died of leukaemia this morning aged 54.

He was the founder of Wellington-based Infratil, an infrastructure investment company valued at $1.2 billion which has a controlling shareholding in Wellington airport, the local bus company and recently bought the Shell service station network in New Zealand. He was also a co-owner of the Wellington Phoenix.

Morrison's passing will be commemorated before Sunday's Phoenix game at Wespac Stadium against Brisbane Roar by a moments silence, and players will wear black armbands as a mark of respect.

Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert said in a live chat on today the Phoenix would not be here without Morrison.

"He was the instigator of the new ownership group. So we have a lot to be thankful for. I passed on the club's condolences to Rob Morrison his brother and the club's chairman this morning, but it's a difficult day for all of us here at the club."

And the Prime Minister has added his condolences:

Prime Minister John Key said this morning he learnt of Mr Morrison's passing with "much sadness," after last speaking to him just a few weeks ago.

"Lloyd was a very successful businessman and, as a friend, I can say that he was also known for not being afraid to voice strong opinions - but he did this because he was totally passionate about New Zealand.

"Lloyd threw everything he had at his illness, as he threw everything he had at his life. I will miss him and my condolences go out to his family, his friends, and his colleagues at Infratil."

This afternoon speaking to media outside in downtown Auckland Key said Morrison was a fiercely patriotic and outspoken man who died too young.

"He was a remarkable New Zealander, a very opinionated New Zealander,'' said Key.

"He cared passionately about this country, he wasn't afraid to stand up and speak out about what he believed in whether it was changing the flag or the economic fortunes of New Zealand but he was a remarkable man; he died far too young and we'll miss him.''

Lloyd Morrison made his mark in business, and his recent involvement in the purchase of the Wellington Phoenix coincided with a revival in the team's fortunes. As the 'Nix press on towards the A-League play-offs, it is sad that he has not survived to see the team flourish. Sunday's ,atch against the Brisbane Roar will be a poignant affair.

And Lloyd's brother has paid him the ultimate tribute:

Morrison was being treated for a recurrence of acute myeloid leukaemia at Seattle's Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Speaking from Seattle, brother Rob Morrison said Lloyd was with family when he passed away this morning. His wife, Julie, and their five children were in Seattle with him.

He had spent the last few months of his life in one of the best treatment centres in the world, and had challenged the medical staff - as he did with people around him in life - to do their best.

"Often when someone dies of cancer it's 'they had a long battle' or 'they lost the battle with cancer'. Well that's not the case, he didn't lose any battles. He lived life and he lived it to the full, he always said there was no excuse for not achieving your potential.

"He came out a winner, because he continued to challenge the way people think about doing things in the medical faculty here, and the way they thought about treating him. He really pushed boundaries and really, in the end, he made sure there was no stone left unturned and when it was time to go he went on his terms."

Our thoughts, prayers and aroha are with his family as they come to terms with their profound loss.

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