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Vale Laurie McNiece

Laurie and Susan McNiece Laurie and Susan McNiece

The Sanhurst Trustees, founded in 1887, had a motto of Mindful, Faithful and Lasting. These words, in addition to generous, kind and caring, describe to perfection Laurie Desmond McNiece, who sadly passed away at his home at Sanctuary Cove on Queensland’s Gold Coast on March 21, 2014, aged 84. 

Laurie was a generous and long-time supporter of Charles Darwin University through the CDU Foundation and, together with wife Sue, made many friends in Darwin since they set up a second home here in the mid-1990s.

Born in central Victoria and the eldest of three brothers who, together, founded the burgeoning business in Bendigo of McNiece Brothers Pty Ltd, a well-respected Australia wide refrigeration and air-conditioning company, Laurie thrived in the business world.

The brothers enjoyed their business success and Laurie in particular always stood out as a gourmand, a connoisseur of fine wine and a distinguished raconteur, especially when in the company of his many friends.

Laurie’s astute financial skills were in great demand and he was invited to sit on numerous boards, including the Sandhurst Trustees, the Bendigo Bank and the Bank of Queensland.

His devotion to family and friends has always been faithful and lasting, and his integrity beyond reproach. After the passing of Laurie’s mother, for whom he cared until her death, he married the love of his life, Susie, to whom he had been introduced by Bendigo friends.

They spent their early years on an idyllic farming property on the outskirts of Bendigo. Soon after Sanctuary Cove was established, they moved north to a kinder climate and, last year, they took pleasure in joining with other original residents of the community to celebrate Sanctuary Cove’s 25th Anniversary.

Laurie and Sue loved to travel and this continued until recent times. They made friends wherever they went and Laurie was a person who never let any of his friendships fade. He was a man who made a difference and he will be very much missed by all who knew him.