During his life he had many jobs and titles - mayor, president, farmer, chairman. But for many people, he was known simply as Jim.
James 'Jim' McGann was farewelled by family and friends on Thursday. He passed away on August 28 at Pioneer's Lodge.
Mr McGann was born on Farm 131 at Hanwood on October 15, 1934.
Born to Griffith pioneers Olive (nee Day) and Roy McGann, he was the fifth generation of his family in the area.
Few knew the impact that he would have on many of the city's and region's residents through his community involvement and as an advocate for water and for Griffith.
Mr McGann's contributions to his community were celebrated when he was presented with the Commonwealth Centenary Medal.
Growing up on Farm 126, he learned to swim in irrigation channels, helped his family around the farm and was a keen sportsman.
Mr McGann attended Hanwood Public School and later Griffith High School.
In 1955 at the Lyceum Theatre he met Pamela Howard, and they were married in 1956.
They were joined by four children, Debbie in 1957, Allan in 1958, Graham in 1961 and Sandra in 1966. There are now nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Since cricket began in Griffith, there has been a McGann among the players and Mr McGann played for Hanwood and Griffith.
He was selected in the Creet Cup representative side.
"But Dad always said it was because he was one of the few who had a car," his son Allan said.
The Great Depression and world wars meant the Hanwood Cricket Club was in and out of recess until Norm Murphy, Bill Hicken, Dick Thompson and Mr McGann brought it back in the 1970s. The club hasn't stopped competing since.
Mr McGann was named a life member of both the Hanwood Cricket Club and Griffith and District Junior Cricket Association.
When not at the crease, Mr McGann was playing tennis in night competitions around the city and racing his bicycle.
"He loved track racing and road racing," Allan said.
"He tells of how he won the Griffith to Goolgowi race which was on gravel.
"It was in Narrandera he was just about to overtake the Australian sprint champion, 200 metres from the finish line, and he was clipped from behind."
Eleven racers were caught up in the crash and while the riders were able to walk away, Mr McGann suffered a significant ankle injury.
"The crash wrecked his ankle and meant he couldn't continue his bike riding, it never set properly and ended his promising bike career," Sandra said.
When Mr McGann turned up for the first day of Form Four to complete his school leaving certificate, the school's headmaster called him out and asked why he was at school.
"He was told he was only there to play cricket, football and cause trouble," Debbie said.
The next day after asking why his son wasn't at school, Mr McGann was told that he should jump on the tractor.
He later planted his first rice crop in 1951.
"He would tell people that if you ever needed anything, just ask and he would drop everything he was doing and would go off and help," Allan said.
He stood for council election in 1983, and served four terms including time as mayor and deputy mayor.
Several decisions made by Griffith City Council prompted him to consider running in the election, and plenty of encouragement from his friends and peers helped cement the decision.
"He was straight down the line," Mrs McGann said.
"He wasn't happy with the way things were going."
During his time on Griffith City Council he joined a number of committees including finance, roads, cemetery, the livestock marketing centre, West End Sports Stadium and the Australian Bicentenary committee.
As chairman of the Councils Against Asset Transfer group, he led representatives of 15 councils in the battle against the state government divesting the bridges it owned and handing the responsibilities to local government.
Recognising that water was the lifeblood of Griffith and Australia, he led the Murrumbidgee Valley Water Users Association, was on the board of Murrumbidgee River Management, the Murrumbidgee Catchment Management Committee and Murrumbidgee Irrigation.
"There was so much respect, there are people 20 years later telling him that he needed to get back on council," Mrs McGann said.
After 16 years as a councillor, Mr McGann did not seek re-election, and after 50 years on the farm, the McGanns moved to Northgrove Estate.
While retired from his civic duties and was able to spend more time with his family, he still found ways to contribute to the community.
When the Griffith RSL Sub-Branch faced a crisis which would have seen the group close, Mr McGann was there to help.
The late Roy Stacy convinced Mr McGann that he should help, and helped convince NSW RSL that as a president of the Griffith National Service Association he would be able to not only take on the job, but help grow the sub-branch.
In thelast year Mr McGann moved to Pioneer's Lodge. While he might have slowed down a little, Mr McGann wasn't interested in spending time inside four walls and arranged to get an unofficial role helping look after the garden.
He would get a list of jobs from maintenance and sometimes spend four to five hours each day working in the garden.
"He called them his contracts," Debbie said.
"He had his own axe and his wheelbarrow, that used to be his mother's, plus shovels, picks and hedgecutters."
Mr McGann cleared out a drainage channel that ran alongside the back fence and cleaned up irrigation equipment in the garden.
"We'd go to visit him and he was always in the garden, never in his room," Debbie said.