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Bill McGovern

From Eastern Courier Messenger

Wednesday August 25th 2004

by Michelle Read

Former Councillor Dies

Former Burnside councillor and US diplomat William (Bill) James McGovern has died aged 82.

Mr McGovern died in hospital on Monday, August 9 (2004), following a short illness.

Born in Massachusetts in 1922, Mr McGovern earned a science degree before moving on to serve on the aircraft carrier USS San Jacinto in World War II.

During his time on the San Jacinto in the Pacific region, Mr McGovern served with former US President George Bush Snr and was awarded a Presidential Citation, a Silver Star and two bronze stars.

Following the war's end, Mr McGovern joined the elite corps of the US diplomatic service. As a diplomatic courier, he travelled in the Far East, South America, North Africa and Australia and later held consular posts in Honolulu, Saigon, Moscow, Frankfurst and Perth.

While in Perth, Mr McGovern met his future wife, Trenna, a South Australian.

They married in 1967 and in 1970 had one son, Christopher James, who died in 1993 while waiting for a kidney transplant.

Mr McGovern settled in Burnside in 1972, where he held the position of Adelaide's US Consul and was active in a number of community organisations.

He worked with The Helping hand, The Kidney Foundation, the Order of St John Knights Templar and the Australian-American Association.

Burnside's councillors paid tribute to Mr McGovern at a meeting last week when Cr Andrew Hillier alerted them to his death.

Cr Hillier said Mr McGovern “always conducted himself with a great deal of dignity in these council chambers”.

Mayor Wendy Greiner said Mr McGovern would be sadly missed.

“He was a very dedicated and long serving member of our community … I'm very sad to hear of the great loss to our community”, she said.

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