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Jim (Sir James) BELICH Obituary
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Tuesday, 17 July 2018

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Preview Entry
Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Please don't submit copyrighted work; original poems, songs or prayers welcomed. Legacy.com reviews all Guest Book entries to ensure appropriate content. Our staff does not correct grammar or spelling.

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 Memories & Condolences
This Guest Book will remain online permanently courtesy of Ninness Funeral Home.
September 23, 2015
Dear Valerie and family,
We were so sorry to hear the sad news. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. We cherish the many happy memories of your visits to Vancouver. God bless you with His peace and love. Much love- Maria, Kevin, Miquela and Adriana
September 21, 2015
I had a little bit of contact with Jim when he was Mayor of Wellington and I was active for the Mt Victoria Residents Assn and the New Zealand Institute of Architects. I of course observed his rise and rise in the Mayoral stakes with his campaign for a clean Wellington Harbour & coastline. He told the anecdotal story of arriving in Wellington as a young man in the 1950s and he told us how he was inspired by the coastline at Moa Point, no doubt resonating with his love of the sea and his Dalmation ancestry. A coastline culture with 777 islands. He said he was horrified to learn the following day, that what he thought was so beautiful and picturesque was in fact the outfall for Wellingtons sewerage! Out of that momentary embarrassment came the opportunity much later in his life to secure a better future for all Wellingtonians with a significant upgrade of the sewerage outfall.
People shouldn't forget that he came into power in 1986, but soon the economic effects from Black Tuesday on 29 October 1987 and the neo liberal effects of Rogernomics were sweeping the country.
I had heard him talk of the devastating effects of the Depression of the 1930s and of course on the relatively poor Dali communities of the Gumfields and the Far North. I'm fairly sure he said he grew up north of Kaitaia at Sweetwaters and things were pretty tough up there at that time. He would have understood the hope that the first Labour Government brought to New Zealand in 1935 and this no doubt shaped his thinking as he agreed to the huge re-build of Wellingtons Cultural and Civic precinct. Just as the construction industry and the professions were on their knees as the result of the global depression, Jim had the courage and vision to save that part of Wellingtons work force with a massive local government project that saw a major upgrade of the Municipal Office Building (Architects: Craig, Craig & Moller); a major new Administration Building (Architects: Stephenson & Turner); A new Library & Civic Square (Athfield Architects); A significant upgrade of the Town Hall (Opus Consultants) and the City to Sea Bridge (Architects Rewi Thompson & John Grey), amongst other projects. The projects employed a lot of people and you can be sure Fletchers & Mainzeal were in the mix with their large staff and Sub Contractor work forces.
While these projects were under discussion it was Jim who drove them through and he seemed on the one hand to be nonchalant, jovial and carefree on the other perhaps he had tough doggedness that many Dalis had, that came from surviving oppression and hard times. I can't ever remember seeing him angry or upset and he seemed to have missed that bit of southern Slav (Dali) temperament.
Of course he seemed lucky to have his vivacious wife Valerie who clearly must have supported him through the brutalising world of Wellington politics and I while I observed her at a distance and didn't get to talk with her like I did with Jim, clearly she must had been a wonderful friend to have when facing the tedium of the minutiae of local government but also the glittering occasions.
All great kauris must fall, and he became that with the great things he did while Mayor and he proved yet again that with good heart, love, joy and human spirit great things can be achieved from humble beginnings.






Od sunca peena morima Jadrana i brzo tee struja Cook Strait i jedan od velikih Kauri stabala sjevernoj zbogom i hvala.
Translation from Croation
From the sun baked seas of the Adriatic and the fast flowing currents of Cook Strait and to one of the great Kauri trees of the north goodbye and thank you.
Pocivao u miru (Rest in Peace)

Tony Bartley (Bartulovic)
September 17, 2015
My deepest sympathy for your loss. Marlene Balchin's(Belich) son Paul
September 17, 2015
The Dalmatian Genealogical & Historical Society wish to extend their sincere condolences to Valerie and family over their recent loss of a husband, father, father-in-law and dide. Sir James (Jim) achieved a lot in his life time - something we in our community can all be proud of.
Pocivao u miru Rest in Peace