Macarthur community stalwart Laurie Porter loses battle with breast cancer

One of Minto’s most passionate community stalwarts died last week.

Laurie Porter succumbed to her battle with breast cancer on August 23, aged 64.

Mrs Porter (nee Sproule) is survived by her husband Arthur, children Ian and Andrew and daughter-in-law Kathryn.

Mrs Porter was a passionate and vocal advocate for the preservation of heritage items in Macarthur, particularly Minto, her home suburb of more than 35 years.

She spent years campaigning to save the historic St James Anglican Church from demolition. Her fight was rewarded when the site was officially added to the local heritage register.

Mrs Porter also championed the protection of Campbellfield house – also called Redfern’s Cottage.

The keen crochet fan – who had her pieces featured and awarded at the Sydney Royal Easter Show – was extremely proud of her in-laws’ long history in Minto. The Porters have called the suburb home since 1897.

Mrs Porter was honoured with a NSW Government Community Service Award last month.

 “I burst into tears when I found out about it,” she told the Advertiser in early July.

“It’s such a lovely thing. I was thrilled to get the award.”

Mrs Porter worked on other heritage projects over the years, including a book detailing the history of Minto Public School and the town itself.

She had a long and proud involvement with the public school.

Mrs Porter also fought for the preservation of the historic Redfern’s Cottage and created the pamphlet: ‘Historic Minto – Commemorating the 200th Anniversary of Dr William Redfern’s Land Grant in Minto’.

Macquarie Fields MP Anoulack Chanthivong – who presented Mrs Porter with her community service award last month – paid his respects on Facebook.

“Rest in peace, my dear friend, Laurie Porter,” he wrote.

“Laurie was a fighter right to the end, but sadly lost her battle with breast cancer late last week.

“We will particularly remember Laurie for the fights she took up to preserve our local heritage, including saving St James Anglican Church in Minto from demolition. 

“Laurie championed many local causes and succeeded in raising awareness of local heritage issues.

“I was honoured to present Laurie with a NSW Government Community Service Award in July in recognition of her dedicated years of service to the local community.

“My thoughts and prayers are with Laurie’s family and friends at this time.”

Mrs Porter’s relatives and friends are invited to attend her funeral at her beloved St James Anglican Church, Redfern Road, on Friday, August 31. The service commences at 1.30pm.

A burial at Forest Lawn Memorial Park will follow the service.

The Porter family asks attendees to make a donation to breast cancer research in lieu of buying flowers. A donation box will be available at the church.