Ian KennyPrint Page Print this page

Photographs supplied by Graeme Saunders

The seat commemorates Ian Kenny, a Norfolk Island businessman heavily involved in the tourist industry, who died in 2009. 

Mr Speaker it is with regret that this House records the passing of Ian Western Kenny on Tuesday, 5th May. Ian was born in Picton, New Zealand in 1936. His parents were Max and Margaret Kenny. He had a much-loved sister “Muff” who predeceased him in 2007. Ian’s family lived firstly in the Marlborough Sound area, and then moved to Blenheim, at the top of the South Island of New Zealand. He attended Blenheim Borough School and Marlborough College, then was apprenticed to Cuddons, as a Fitter and Turner. He dived at an early age for moorings in Picton, rescued speed boats in the harbour, found the sailing ship “Rangitoto” at Jackson’s Point, and dived on the ferry “Rangatera” in Tory Channel. Later in Norfolk Island he; with Peter Ely, Dennis Sterling and others dived to raise the historic HMS Sirius anchor off the reef at Kingston. Ian spent his younger years with his Dad Max on whale chasers. His introduction to Norfolk Island was Max and Ian bringing small chaser boats to the then Norfolk Island Whaling industry in 1960. an was in the forefront of many ventures which we see today as historical benchmarks in this place: His was the first glass bottom boat tourism in 1961; His boat caught the first blue fin marline in these waters; Charter Member of the Norfolk Island Lions Club; Director of Norfolk Island’s first locally owned airline – although that did not have a happy ending; Major force in the South pacific Mini Games in Norfolk Island; Collected first whale DNA off Norfolk Island, in the now compelling whale watching and researching enterprises; and more. These achievements reflect Norfolk Island’s development over the past 50 years. If it happened; it is likely, Ian Kenny was there. He was a reliable fisherman, and entrepreneurial. His business motto was “No fish’ no pay” and in peak conditions he would make three fishing trips a day.

He and his wife Joan bought buses and commenced Kenny’s Scenic Tours. At one time they extended the business to include, travel agencies, airline agencies, aircraft charters (particularly to New Caledonia), and associated tourism activities. In entering the tourism industry, Ian naturally became engaged in its promotion and advancement. He serviced some ten years on the tourist Board – three years as its Chairman. He travelled and promoted extensively to Australia and New Zealand markets. The ultimate recognition of his continuous contribution was being awarded in December just past, the Prestigious Tourism Minister’s Award for Outstanding contribution to Tourism Development.

In 2005 Ian was 12th NILA 903 20 May 2009 awarded the “Melvin Jones Fellowship”, the Lions highest international award. In 1980, Ian and Joan sold their glass bottom boat and tour business and Ian bought a larger fishing vessel “Mystic II” and really got into marlin fishing. He was thinking forward to “Mystic III”, but that project was not realised. Ian wrote and published three books on fishing and whaling in Norfolk Island and he and Joan published a 4th book, just a couple of months ago on their life’s adventures. Sadly Ian was diagnosed with lymphoma three years ago. He undertook extensive treatment in New Zealand for two years then returned home for eighteen months. To Joan, his sons and their families, to his many friends in our community and overseas, this House extends its deepest sympathy. Mr Speaker, may he rest in peace. 
Excerpt from Norfolk Island Hansard, 20 May 2009.



Address:Rooty Hill Road, Kingston, Norfolk Island, 2899
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -29.054727
Long: 167.964233
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Seat
Monument Theme:People


Front Inscription

"Daa Siit for Ian" 
In Memory of
Ian Kenny
29 - 7 - 36  -  5 - 5 - 09
To Fishermen, Whalers and Whale Watchers
"Come sit a while and think
of those who loved the sea"



Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au