Image: Zoos SA
The city is in mourning today with the news that widely respected tourism pioneer, Bill Spurr AO, has passed at the age of 75.
Mr Spurr passed away last night after suffering from a stroke last week and spending his final days in palliative care.
The current chair of Adelaide Venue Management, Mr Spurr had an illustrious career in tourism, entertainment and sport which ultimately saw him appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2015 for his distinguished service to industry.
Over the years, the respected and honourable man spent a long time as Chief Executive of the South Australian Tourism Commission from 1998 to 2007 as well as serving on the board of Zoos SA and chief executive of the Adelaide Convention Bureau.
An outpouring of grief from the local community has taken over social media with some of the state’s highest regarded personalities sharing their memories and commiserations.
Chairman of the South Australian Tourism Commission, Andrew Bullock, has said Mr Spurr was a passionate and innovative CEO.
“It would be a challenge to find anyone who knew as much about tourism, hospitality and the events sector as Bill Spurr,” he said.
“He had a very long list of successes – from his progressive work with the SATC and more recently, as chair for the Adelaide Venue Management Corporation, and for his commitment to the community – he was a remarkable South Australian.”
Former Premier Steven Marshall has said it is a huge loss to SA while a spokesperson for the Adelaide 36ers issued a statement saying “Spurr was a visionary in entertainment, tourism, and economic development. The club sends its deepest condolences to the Spurr family”.
Another post by Valdis Dunis read “101 rounds of thank you’s for all that you did for our community and for me personally – in the classic quiet gentlemanly way of steadily bringing all on board and/or solving bottlenecks for so many good causes you were involved with over the decades. Also, such a nice person too. Vale Bill Spurr – you made the world so much better”.
Information on funeral and memorial services will likely be made in the coming days.