Former Nelson mayor Kerry Marshall’s life was celebrated at a memorial held at Nelson College on Friday afternoon. Photo: Supplied.

Life of former mayor honoured

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The main road through Saxton Field could soon be renamed after former Tasman and Nelson mayor Kerry Marshall.

The mayors of Nelson and Tasman, Rachel Reese and Tim King, and Nelson MP Nick Smith have proposed that the road be named “Kerry Marshall Drive”, to honour a man who devoted his life to public service and died in March this year during the Covid-19 lockdown.

More than a hundred mourners turned out to celebrate a memorial to Kerry at Nelson College on Friday.

Rachel spoke of Kerry’s passion for Nelson, his legacy that is Saxton Field, and his love of fine wine.

Shew acknowledged that many people made huge contributions to the Saxton Field sporting complex.

“There were dozens of meetings through the 1990s and 2000s where Kerry, as mayor, led major decisions that led to the creation of one of our region’s most important community facilities.

“Kerry spent his last years at the Ernest Rutherford Rest Home and regularly went for walks through Saxtons, taking great pride in his role in developing these facilities. This personal connection adds weight to it being an appropriate place for a memorial to this great civic leader.”

Tasman District Council Mayor Tim King said giving the road through Saxton Field a name would help people navigate through the area.

“We liked the phrase ‘Kerry Marshall Drive’ as Kerry was so driven in his life’s work to improve our region.”

Nelson MP Nick Smith also gave his full backing to the proposal.

“We have jointly written to the Saxton Field committee proposing the name change and recommending they undertake a process of public and iwi consultation. Our hope would be that the community supports this proposal for a lasting memorial for Kerry’s contribution to our region and New Zealand.”

The Marshall family say they are delighted with the proposal to rename the road.

“Kerry put decades of work into developing these sports facilities. He loved parks and, especially during the last few years, enjoyed many wheelchair visits and picnics in Saxton Field. The complex is also symbolic of Kerry’s long passion to connect the Nelson and Tasman communities,” said Colleen Marshall.