THE Bendigo Town Hall was a fitting place for yesterday’s thanksgiving service to commemorate former Bendigo mayor, business man and community stalwart, Norm Quin.

Mr Quin passed away late last month, aged 85.

The town hall was yesterday packed with more than 600 people, spilling out onto the library gardens to pay respect to a man who gave so much to the community he was part of, and to the many organisations he served throughout his rich life.

He is best remembered as the owner of the popular Quin’s Bluebird fruit and vegetable store on Mitchell Street in the heart of the CBD, a small but thriving business he was a part of for almost 70 years.

A tireless champion of Bendigo, Mr Quin was elected to the Bendigo City Council in 1983, and served as mayor during 1985-1986.

His passion for the city he loved led him to joining the Bendigo Historical Society and the Bendigo Easter Fair committee, an organisation that later afforded him with a life membership in recognition of his service.

Mr Quin was part of the former Bendigo Chamber of Commerce for more than four decades, and he maintained a strong interest in the community and business sectors throughout his life.

A love for sport led him to the Bendigo Sportsmen’s Association, an organisation he continued to serve for almost 50 years.

His selfless service and contributions were acknowledged with life membership of the Sportsmen’s Association of Australia and induction into the Bendigo Sportsmen’s Hall of Fame.

In a statement, City of Greater Bendigo mayor Margaret O’Rourke said Mr Quin was a much-loved and respected community identity.

“Norm’s passing is incredibly sad for our city. There will be many residents that remember Norm as mayor of the former City of Bendigo but many more would know him from his fruit shop on Mitchell Street, a Bendigo business institution”.

Cr O’Rourke said Mr Quin always had Bendigo’s best interests at heart, and he had been a visionary during his time in local government.

“Norm was an icon who will be dearly missed by his customers and the community. Our thoughts are with his daughters, Susan and Julie, and their families at this time.”

Yesterday’s service was led by Archdeacon John Geldart, with tributes from family, friends and staff from the iconic Quin’s Bluebird store.

– PETER KENNEDY