The firm Russell Turner was established more than 70 years ago when Bob Russell and Lyle Turner entered into partnership in 1946.
The partnership started in offices upstairs on the corner of Walton and Robert Streets. In 1974 Bob and Lyle were joined by Brian Moyle and Bill Roberts, and the firm became known as Russell Turner Moyle and Roberts. Bob retired in 1975 after 34 years in full time practice, and shortly afterwards the firm moved to new purpose-built offices at Abacus House in Rust Avenue.
Neil Ruddell became a partner in 1990. Lyle, Brian, Bill and Neil were joined by Paul Sorenson and Maurice Petherick in 1996, and the firm became known as Russell Turner & Partners. Lyle retired in 1997, and Paul and Maurice left the practice in 1999 and the firm became Russell Turner Chartered Accountants.
In 2002 Nigel Brereton became a partner, also opening an office in Ruawai. In 2007 Gavin Buckingham and Eddie Roberts became partners, and Bill Roberts became a consultant. In 2009 Brian became a consultant.
In 2010 the firm moved to 58 Otaika Road after nearly 35 years in Rust Ave. In 2014 Barbara Gailey became a partner, also opening an office at Ruakaka.
Bob Russell retired in December 1975 after 34 years in full-time practice. He was born in Morrinsville but educated mainly in Dannevirke. He studied part-time and qualified in March 1935, having worked for the Public Trust in Dannevirke and Auckland.
Bob had a tour of duty overseas during the Second World War, was discharged early on medical grounds and came to Whangarei in December 1942 to set up in private practice. His business started with appointments as secretary/treasurer to the Whangarei High Schools' Board and clerk of the then Onerahi Town Council.
In 1943 he joined the Whangarei RSA and was its auditor before becoming secretary-treasurer in May 1944. He kept that post for the next 32 years, initially being involved with securing full office facilities for the association - a big job given the return of troops from overseas, the consequent rapid increase in membership and the Association's rehabilitation and welfare work. He was made a life member of the RSA in May 1970 and awarded the Merit Badge in 1974.
In 1946, Bob was joined by Lyle Turner, formerly of Kaitaia, and 28 years later, in October 1974, Brian Moyle and Bill Roberts became partners in the firm. Bob served as auditor for a number of Whangarei and District organisations, was secretary/treasurer of the Whau Valley School Committee and coached school cricket teams. His hobbies were bowls and gardening.
After 34 years in full-time practice, he retired in December 1975 and passed away in May 1985 at the age of 72.
A community man through and through, Lyle Turner devoted time and energy to his family, voluntary organisations and sporting institutions. His sport connections read like an almanac: tennis, cricket, yachting and rugby.
Lyle was born in Kaitaia in May 1925. He excelled at school there: at age 14, he had completed his high school education but was too young to go to university, so he studied accountancy by correspondence while working in Kaitaia and Kaikohe. In 1946 he joined with Bob and established Russell Turner in Whangarei.
Yachting was one of Lyle's passions. He helped form the Paihia and Onerahi yacht clubs, was secretary and treasurer of the Northland Cricket Club and was a keen supporter of the Kamo Cricket and Rugby Clubs. Lyle was honoured to be a recipient of the Brian Maunsell Memorial for Service to Sports award and also a special award from Tennis New Zealand. He was a member and past president of Kamo Probus and a charter member of the Kamo Lions Club. He played a key role in the local branch of the New Zealand Society of Accountants, became a life member and was awarded Fellowship Status of the Society.
Lyle retired from full-time practice in 1989 and died unexpectedly in Auckland Hospital in August 2005 from complications following a heart bypass operation. He will be remembered for his sense of humour, infectious laugh, happy easy-going nature, honesty and integrity.