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Murrays in New Zealand

Christ Church

Ernest Murray, Accountant

Ernest Murray, New Zealand Accountant
Ernest Murray

Ernest MURRAY was born on 24 September 1897 in Dunedin, New Zealand.  He was the son of John MURRAY and Sarah MAYES.  He was raised in the Sydenham District of Christchurch where he attended the local primary and senior schools.  Upon earning the New Zealand School Leaving Certificate, the 14 year old Ernest joined the work force.

Ernest (see photo of Ernest in later years above right) joined the Post Office as a telegraph delivery boy and then trained as a telegraphist.  At the same time he attended courses which led to his passing the Public Service Senior Service Examination.

In 1917, Ernest entered the army as a signalman and was assigned to the New Zealand Rifle Brigade.  The Rifle Brigade was drafted into the fracas and immediately paid a high price when several of Ernest's fellow draftees were killed in the spectacular battle of Le Quesnoy on 04 November 1918.  Fortunately, Ernest missed the battle as he was in a hospital in Britain with influenza.  The war ended a week later.

After the war, Ernest took leave in England and traveled up to Scotland to visit MURRAY relatives in the Moffat area of Dumfriesshire.  He was taken to Greenhill Cottage where his father was born as saw all the local attractions such as the Devil's Beef Tub between Moffat and Tweedsmuir.

Returning to New Zealand, he continued working for the Post Office while studying for the Chartered Accountant's exams.  Upon passing same, he was promoted into the Accounts Department of the Post Office.

On 17 April 1925, Ernest was married to Lily Evelyn BURNS.  Lily was born in Christchurch on 17 August 1900 and was the daughter of Alexander BURNS and Agnes Mary WATTS.  Ernest and Lily raised of family of three including a son and two daughters.  They have ten grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.

In about 1952, Ernest was promoted to Chief of the Accounts Branch.  Ernest also served for several years as Honorary Auditor for the Trans Tasman Airways Corporation (which became Air New Zealand).  He retired from the Post Office after 40 years of service in 1955.

In April of 1985, Ernest and Lily celebrated their 60th Wedding Anniversary amongst family and friends.  The photograph below was taken at the celebration.

Ernest and Lily's 60th Wedding Anniversary
Ernest and Lily Murray's 60th Wedding Anniversary
April of 1985
Back Row, Left to Right:
Michael Burns MURRAY, Jill Murray GANDELL, Jeanette Murray WARD, (children of Ernest and Lily)
and Raymond BURNS (Lily's nephew).
Middle Row:
Lily Burns MURRAY and Doris BARON (Lily's cousin).
Front Row:
Ernest Thomas MURRAY.

Sadly, in Wellington, New Zealand on 22 September 1985, Lily died.  Ernest Thomas MURRAY died in Havelock North, New Zealand on 17 February 1988.