Topic: Noel Frank Pope (1931-2019)

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Noel Pope spent 27 years on Tauranga City Council and was mayor for 12 of those years. He was elected four times; twice between 1983 and 1989 and twice again between 1995 and 2001. Story by Debbie McCauley.

Noel Frank Pope was born in Hamilton in 1931 to Charles Redvers White Ladysmith Pope and his wife Maida Dorothy Pope (nee Ward).

Noel and Ena Edgar met on a blind date set up by mutual friends of their parents shortly after she had moved to Tauranga. The couple married and made their home in Greerton. They started a business, Pope Electrical, which they would run from home for 48 years before handing the reins over to their son.

Noel was the 25th mayor of Tauranga. He served in the top position from 8 October 1983 to 14 October 1989. He served as mayor for a second time from 14 October 1995 through to 13 October 2001. Noel spent a total of 27 years serving on the Tauranga City Council.

In 1987 Noel was mayor during the controversial and divisive Tauranga Town Hall Occupation and oversaw the heritage building’s subsequent demolition.

During his time, Noel helped to connect Mount Maunganui and Tauranga via the Tauranga Harbour Bridge, which was officially opened on 13 March 1988. He was also involved in the purchase of land in the Kopurererua Valley (K Valley), a 300-hectare block of low lying rural land situated between residential neighbourhoods in Tauranga. Running from Judea in the north to Tauriko in the south, the valley is bordered by the neighbourhoods of Te Reti, Gate Pa, Greerton, Westridge and Cambridge Heights.

In 1989 members of the Tauranga RSA planted 120 native trees alongside Keith Allen Memorial Drive. On 12 January 1989 as one of his mayoral duties, Noel unveiled the accompanying plaque:

all those from
Western Bay of Plenty
who gave their lives
in all conflicts
since 1900.

On 1 June 1998, Noel Frank Pope, J.P. of Tauranga, was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit (C.N.Z.M), Companion of the said Order for services to local government.

Serving the community took up much of Noel’s time and in 2014 he was part of The Battle of Gate Pa Charitable Trust, established for the purpose of commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gate Pa.

Noel passed away in Tauranga on 15 August 2019. His death notice appeared in The New Zealand Herald on 17 August 2019: POPE, Noel Frank. Passed away peacefully on Thursday 15 August 2019 aged 87 years. Loved Husband of Ena for 66 years. Loved father of Ron and Colleen, Jan and Tony Banks, Leanne Wright and Phil. Special "Dad" to John and Annette. Grandad and Great Grandad. Brother to Marie (deceased), Dianne and Lawrence Morrow, Darryl and Marion. To celebrate Noels life, a service will be held at Tauranga Park 383 Pyes Pa Road Tauranga, on Friday 23 August at 2.00pm. Communication to the Noel Pope Family c/- PO Box 3136 Tauranga 3142.



Former Tauranga mayor passes (SunLive, 19 August 2019)

'He was a genuine visionary' - former Tauranga Mayor Noel Pope dies (Bay of Plenty Times, 17 Aug 2019) 

Tauranga Town Hall Occupation (1987) by Debbie McCauley

The New Zealand Herald (17 August 2019)

The Queen's Birthday Honours List 1998

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Noel Frank Pope (1931-2019)

First Names:Noel Frank
Last Name:Pope
Date of Birth:1931
Place of Birth:Hamilton, Waikato, North Island, New Zealand
Country of birth:New Zealand
Date of death:15 August 2019
Place of death:Tauranga, Bay of Plenty, North Island, New Zealand
Spouses name:Ena Edgar
Fathers name:Charles Redvers White Ladysmith Pope
Fathers date of birth:2 March 1900
Fathers place of birth:Havelock, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand
Fathers date of death:25 Oct 1947
Fathers place of death:Tauranga, North Island, New Zealand
Mothers name:Maida Dorothy Ward
Mothers date of birth:9 January 1905
Mothers place of birth:Stratford, New Plymouth, North Island, New Zealand
Mothers date of death:13 May 2005
Mothers place of death:Tauranga, Bay of Plenty, North Island, New Zealand

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