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Tribute paid to Bernadette O'Rourke after her death, aged 54

Bernadette O’Rourke was born 26 October 1960 in Christchurch, New Zealand.  She graduated on 5th May 1983 with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Canterbury, Christchurch.

Bernadette O’Rourke’s sudden death at her home on Tuesday, May 5 leaves an unbridgeable chasm in the lives of everyone who knew her whether it be through her personal or her professional relationships.

Her integrity was a constant that she established from the outset. It was the cornerstone upon which she built her relationships.

It was always present in the manner she approached her responsibilities be they personal or professional. She was constant and committed to her immediate and extended family.

Her duty of care was unfaltering and generous in an understated fashion.

Likewise, in her professional life she engaged with authenticity and sincere interest. She elicited the very best performance from people.

She expected no less and they knew it too because she constantly modelled it in her performance. She expected nothing more from anyone than she expected from herself.

She always approached her decision- making from a measured perspective.  She would not be confused or swayed by bias or emotional response.

She was recognised and admired in this respect. Many were those who sought her judgement and counsel.

She truly understood excellence in all things. It was her distinguishing trait in every facet of her life. Style, elegance, and dignity pervaded all her accomplishments and achievements. Amazement and delight were occasioned in everyone who was touched by her professional work.

From the outset, when she joined R. O’Rourke and Son in 1985 to her untimely death she engendered her values in the corporate culture – be it branding companies, designing office facilities, standardising corporate cafes, establishing communication media, managing corporate affairs, or appointing security.

Every project got the same detailed treatment and attention. She designed and planned the most private of business functions to the spectacular galas with equal detail and rigorous certainty. The result was always amazement, delight and appreciation.

Her influence and style pervades Laing O’Rourke globally. It is profound and inestimable. Everyone in the organisation is affected and blessed for it.

Bernadette O’Rourke’s life was one of committed service infused with the human touch of quiet, unpretentious generosity. She is a beacon of human endeavour and achievement.

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