Today [December 22nd 2014] I received the incredibly sad news that Bruce Morison OAM, one of the stalwarts of the Sutherland Shire Canoe Club since it’s inception, passed away today after a period of illness. Our thoughts and sympathies go out to his wife Joan, and their family.
My lasting memory of Bruce will be the last time I watched him paddle at the club. He struggled to walk down the slope from the clubrooms to the beach. His knees were giving him trouble. As he climbed slowly into the canoe with Joan, she muttered something I didn’t quite hear and he replied with a sly smile, “wiggle, wiggle, bounce, bounce, yeah, yeah!” It was obviously a rite that had been recited many times over the years they paddled together. As they pulled away from the beach, it was as if 30 years had been left on the beach. They tore down the slot in perfect time, executed a series of tight turns and then gave Kate and I a run for our money as we struggled with our own canoe. This is how I will remember Bruce.
The club has sent flowers on behalf of the members.
President, Sutherland Shire Canoe Club
22nd December 2014.
Tributes to Bruce
Sad news indeed . Bruce was a lovely man and will be missed.
– Steve Muir
Top bloke . Bruce will be missed.
– Grafton Paddle Sports
Bruce and Joan were legends in canoe/kayak in the early years. Bruce’s passing is a sad loss, but never forgotten. The Morisons were huge promoters of canoe/kayak, a couple whose every decision was for the benefit of the sport.
– Jane Hall
Australia has lost a wonderful man and one of its paddling legends, Bruce Morison O.A.M. His “Grey Hair Qualifications” included: 20 Hawkesbury Canoe Classics, 6 Murray Marathons, 3 Original “100 milers”, 10 Circular 100 milers, and many, many other distance marathon races. Bruce and his wife, Joan, have shared their love of paddling with countless people over the course of their very full lives.
– Travis Paul Frenay, Paddle & Portage Canoes
Our thoughts go to Bruce’s family and friends at this time
– Wynnum Redlands Canoe Club
Bruce was a very important part of my many years in the sport of Canoeing both as a competitor at State and National level and my years in administration for NSW Canoeing and as an Australian Official. RIP Bruce you will be missed.
– Greg Bell
We as members were not the only ones to lose with Bruce’s passing. Australians have lost too, the initials after his name prove that. RIP Bruce.
– Grant Mascord
Bruce is an inspiration and mentor to me and I belief to many other kayakers. Miss you heaps.
– Tam Fook Chee
Rest in peace Bruce, we will miss you xx
– Robyn Bingle
That is very sad news on the death of that great canoeing stalwart and condolences to Joan and his family
– Bob Lynch
Sorry to hear this news – It was an honour knowing Bruce for so many years.
– Belinda Desmond
Well known in paddling circles, Bruce will be greatly missed. Our thoughts are with Joan and their family, at this sad time. xxx
– Kayaks Australia
It was an honour to have the chance to meet Bruce and Joan. Remarkable and inspirational people.
– Tanya White
May he paddle on in the great never never as all Heroes do what a wonderful selfless man god bless you dad xxxxc
– Wendy Elzer
Rest In Peace. A legend !
– Mick Martin
– Owen Walton
Beautiful words Steve. This is how Bruce will want to be remembered. RIP Bruce. We will never forget you or your contribution to canoeing.
– Janet Small
Such a wonderful man who fit so much into his life! My thoughts are with Joan and family
– Pauline Findlay
Very sad we’ve lost a true gentleman he will be greatly missed.
– Alan Voges
Such a sad time especially for all who have known Bruce for many years. I will be thinking of you all.
– Carolyn Cooney
Photographic Memories of Bruce Morison OAM
Tribute by Paddle NSW CEO Peter Tate [original posting]
It is with great sadness and deep regret that we advise the passing of Bruce Morison OAM, aged 87. Bruce was a founding member and Life Member of NSW Canoeing Association (and hence PaddleNSW).
Our heartfelt condolences and prayers are extended to wife Joan, their family and Bruce’s very many friends in the paddling community. The committal service will be held at Woronora Crematorium, South Chapel, Linden Street, Sutherland, on Friday, 2nd January 2015 at 2:00pm.
Only this month PaddleNSW made a submission to Sport NSW seeking recognition for both Bruce and Joan in the form of Distinguished Long Service Awards. I’m pleased to report the nomination was successful and the Awards for both Bruce and Joan will be presented in February.
Bruce made a tremendous contribution to canoeing and paddling in NSW and Australia, some of which is captured in the submission below. Rest In Peace our friend.
Husband and wife team Bruce Morison OAM and Joan Morison OAM have each devoted over 65 years (that’s a lifetime) of high-level involvement as ground-breaking pioneers and iconic administrators in canoeing and paddling.
On 8th September 1949 the NSW Association of Canoe Clubs held its first official meeting. Bruce and Joan represented Youth Hostel Association Canoe Club. Two days later Australian Canoe Federation came into being. Thus within 48 hours the Morisons had been formation delegates of both the peak state body and peak national body for canoeing. Over the next 7 years they were heavily involved with affiliations to State, Australian and International Olympic Councils and the International Canoe Federation.
As well as keen administrators, the Morisons were also very talented paddlers. NSW’s first State Championships were held in March 1952 at which Bruce won two silver medals in K2 1000 & 10,000m. Joan was also a dominant sprinter, and was selected in the “train on” squad for the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games. Unfortunately she was disbarred from ALL sport when falling pregnant, and missed the Games despite having child well beforehand.
As the paddling disciplines expanded, so too did the Morison’s significant involvement in the sport. In 1953 the first slalom was held as a demonstration at the National Sprints at Penrith. Both competed, and became officials, judges and event organisers at Club and State level. During the building of the Penrith Whitewater Centre, Joan was consulted by Price Waterhouse on the needs of canoeing.
In 1975 Bruce was elected State President, a role he held for five years. In that time the sport grew tremendously, doubling to 45 clubs and 4000+ members (some clubs had 500 members). The Morisons were a formidable team because Joan was State Secretary at the time! At various stages both held every official position at Club level, State level, plus numerous positions Nationally.
The Safety Awards Scheme was essential to canoeing as the number of accidents increased. Joan became delegate to the Maritime Safety Committee. In 1975 Canoeing NSW ran a Safety Conference and the Morisons were senior instructors and examiners of the award. This role continued for the next four decades until poor health intervened.
As the sports industry evolved, Joan was certainly there at the cutting edge. She was a resident in the first Sports House (paid 12 hours per week but serving 68 hours weekly), attended the first meeting of the ASC, and also began coaching with the new Australian Institute of Sport. Between 1986 and 2003 the Morisons organised and successfully ran junior development camps with many of those paddlers progressing to achieve State, National, International and Olympic medals.
The Morisons were key officials at the Sydney 2000 Olympics – Bruce with sprint and Joan with slalom. Joan remains heavily active today, and has for many, many years been the designated historian and archivist for both PaddleNSW and Australian Canoeing.
Both Bruce and Joan were honoured with Life Membership of NSWCA in 1980. Joan was further honoured in 2003 with Life Membership of AC. In very fitting recognition of their lifetime contributions to paddling and canoeing, Joan received her OAM in 1992 and Bruce received his OAM in 2009.
The Morisons are a truly remarkable team and our sport is hugely indebted to their selfless and monumental service over 65+ years.
Tribute by Australian Canoeing [original post]
It is with a very sad heart that Australian Canoeing advises of the passing away of Bruce Morison OAM at age 87 after a long illness.
Bruce went peacefully in the company of his family who were so important to him.
Bruce made a tremendous contribution to canoeing in NSW and Australia.
Husband and wife team Bruce Morison OAM and Joan Morison OAM have each devoted over 65 years of high-level involvement as ground-breaking pioneers and iconic administrators in canoeing and paddling.
On 8th September 1949 the NSW Association of Canoe Clubs held its first official meeting. Bruce and Joan represented Youth Hostel Association Canoe Club. Two days later Australian Canoe Federation came into being. Thus within 48 hours the Morisons had been formation delegates of both the peak state body and peak national body for canoeing. Over the next seven years they were heavily involved with affiliations to State, Australian and International Olympic Councils and the International Canoe Federation.
Bruce was heavily involved in NSW Canoeing affairs as President 1975-1980; 1985-86 and Vice President 1982-1985. He was Chair of the Board of Canoe Education (BCE) 1979-1983. During these years, Bruce was competing regularly in canoe marathon events, gained Coaching accreditation and assisted with Junior Coaching Camps organised by Joan at the NSW Academy of Sport.
At the Australian level, Bruce was involved in the BCE, Slalom & Wildwater, Marathon and Sprint Committees in the 1978-1988 era. He was approached to be a selector for the first Australian Marathon in 1981 on the Murray River, despite also being a competitor. He continued as a selector for many years.
The Morisons were key officials at the Sydney 2000 Olympics – Bruce with sprint and Joan with slalom.
As well as keen administrators for the sport, the Morisons were also very talented paddlers. NSW’s first State Championships were held in March 1952 at which Bruce won two silver medals in K2 1000 & 10,000m. Bruce competed in the Inaugural World Masters Games (gold in MC2) as well as many Hawkesbury and Murray Marathon races.
Bruce was highly respected by the paddlers for his experience, understanding and fairness, and always made decisions which were best for Australian Canoeing.
Both Bruce and Joan were honoured with Life Membership of NSWCA in 1980.. In very fitting recognition of their lifetime contributions to paddling and canoeing, Joan received her OAM in 1992 and Bruce received his OAM in 2009.
“In all respects Bruce was a true pioneer for canoeing, and his love of the sport and genuine interest in the members of the canoeing family continued strongly up until recent months. We have lost an exceptional man, whose legacy lives on through the many successful canoeing activities we enjoy today. Those of us who have worked and paddled with Bruce over the years have indeed been fortunate to have shared his friendship, as well as many valuable moments which will forever remain treasured memories” stated Ms Helen Brownlee (AC Life member) and long-time friend of the Morisons.
On behalf of the canoeing community, AC has extended our sincere condolences and prayers to Joan Morison OAM (AC life member) and their family.
Bruce’s funeral will be held at Woronora Crematorium, South Chapel, Linden Street, Sutherland, NSW, Australia on Friday, 2nd January 2015 at 2:00pm.
Rest in Peace Bruce
– Australian Canoeing