Passing Notes: Incomplete listing of South Canterbury fatalities, deaths & inquests from various newspapers after 1945
Pre 1902 After 1901-31st Dec. 1945
The Canberra Times Wednesday 24 December 1947
BODY OF GIRL FOUND ON BLIND ROAD
The police to-day found the body of Valima Phillips, 12, which was, stolen from the Timaru Hospital morgue on Saturday.
The body was found on a blind road near Pleasant Point, 12 miles from Timaru.
The Canberra Times Tuesday 23 December 1947 page 1
PORTER ARRESTED FOR REMOVAL OF BODY FROM MORGUE
Wellington, Monday. Arrested at Nelson this morning, Desmond Robert Perry, alias John Paul Rains, 24, porter of Timaru, was later charged at the magistrate's court at Nelson with the theft of a car from Timaru on Saturday. He was remanded to Timaru on Wednesday. The arrest was made following police inquiries into the disappearance of a body of 12-year-old Valima Phillips, from Timaru morgue on Saturday. The police have disregarded the theory that the girl's body was in a redge pond near Greymouth, after an exhaustive search, and they believe the body is not on the West Coast. Up to a late hour to-night the body, of the girl had not been recovered, although the search had been discontinued following the arrest of porter. Sergeant Murray saw an unoccupied car outside the Nelson post office and he questioned the porter, who, claimed that his car was at a garage being greased. They went to the garage but the porter tried to escape by running round another car. Sergeant Murray made a flying tackle and arrested him.
The Canberra Times Tuesday 2 January 1951
W.A. Bishop Dies In NZ.
Wellington, N.Z., Mon.- The Bishop of Bunbury, Western Australia, the Rt. Rev. L. A. Knight, who was on a holiday visit to New Zealand, collapsed and died from a heart seizure while on his way to church with his wife at Timaru yesterday.
The Canberra Times Wednesday 9 December 1953 page 8
Death Of Former Champion Athlete
WELLINGTON. Tuesday. The death has occurred at Timaru of Richard (Dick) Arnst, one-time world champion sculler, New Zealand and Australian cycling champion and an outstanding international wing shooter. He was 70. Arnst won the world sculling title in 1907, only two years after dropping cycling in favour of the river sport.
Timaru Herald Tuesday, 30 December 1975
CARLOW Elsie. On December 28, 1975 at Margaret Wilson Home, Seddon Street, Timaru, dearly beloved wife of the late George Henry Carlow, in her 86th year. Messages c/- Margaret Wilson Home, 27 Seddon Street, Timaru. Service: St Paul's Presbyterian Church, Seddon St, Timaru this day (Tuesday) December 30 at 2pm to be followed by a private interment. Hall & Moore Ltd.
Timaru Herald Wednesday, 12 January 1983, p23
CARLOW Lillian Mabel (formerly of Timaru). On January 11, 1983 at the Ross Home, Dunedin, beloved daughter of the late Ada and George Henry Carlow of Timaru; aged 77 years. Private interment at Timaru. Hope & Sons. [Lillian was born in 1905-6 in Birmingham. She and her mother left England for NZ in March 1923 after death of Lillian's father. Came to NZ to join son George Henry (Harry) Carlow. ]
All four were buried at Timaru Cemetery-
Elsie Jones Carlow D. 28 Dec 1975
George Henry Carlow buried 27 Aug 1974
Lillian Mabel Carlow D. 11 Jan 1983
Caroline Ada Carlow D. 23 Apr 1957
Lily Sylvia Florence Brownhill b. 1922 - Birmingham, UK
Moved to New Zealand in March 1958 onboard SS Southern Cross. Lived in Auckland for many years before moving to Temuka Died 23 August 1997 at `The Croft` Interred in Temuka Cemetary RSA Area
Arthur John Leigh b. 1917 Stoke-on-Trent, UK
Potters mouldmaker emigrated to New Zealand November 1957 Worked at Crown Lynn Potteries, Auckland before moving to Temuka in 1975 Died 22 April 2000
The Times [London, England] 26 Nov. 1986
Mr John Hayhurst, agricultural and sporting journalist, who was also a strong internationalist, died on November 24. He was 81. John Cedric Hayhurst was born at Timaru on November 5, 1905. After leaving the Timaru Boys' High School, he worked on his father's farm before taking a degree course in journalism at Christchurch. After working for a time on local newspapers, in 1938 he migrated to Britain in 1938 in search of wider opportunities. On arrival, he did a post-graduate course in agriculture at Wye College, Kent. Shortly before the outbreak of war he joined the staff of the George Newnes magazine Smallholder, of which he soon became assistant editor, holding the post until the magazine was taken over by IPC in 1967. His passionate sporting interest was rugby, and during the 1950s he did some writing on the subject for The Times. He also published, in 1954, The Fourth All Blacks, a book describing the fourth tour of Britain by the famous New Zealand side. But it is for his agricultural journalism that he will be best remembered, and above all for his service to internationalism within the profession. He helped to found the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists in 1954, and served as President in 1960. Later, as a tribute to his tireless efforts on its behalf, he was made its president of honour. He had also served as secretary, chairman and president of the British Guild of Agricultural Journalists. After leaving the Smallholder he wrote widely for the British and foreign press as a freelance, and after his retirement in 1973 still wrote a horticultural column for Living Magazine under the name of Howard Greene. His books (apart from the one already mentioned) were Smallholder Encyclopaedia and the series Successful Gardening. He married, in 1934, Ellen Grigg. She survives him, with one of their daughters (the other predeceased him).
The Times [London, England] 25 July 1987
Dr Archibald Callaway, who died on July 16 at the age of 69, was an authority on educational planning, and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) representative in Nigeria - a country to the well-being of whose people he dedicated much of his life. Archibald Charles Callaway was born on December 22, 1917, at Timaru, New Zealand. He was educated there at Christchurch West High School and at Canterbury University College. During the war he served with the New Zealand forces in North Africa and Italy, reaching the rank of captain and taking part in the battles of Sidi Rezegh and El Alamein. He was twice wounded. After the war he went to St John's College, Cambridge, from where he graduated in economics in 1949. For the next three years he did research at Balliol College, Oxford, where he was also captain of the college cricket team. It was at that time that he met and married Helen Lund, an American. With his wife he went to the United States and received his doctorate from Harvard in 1959. That same year he went to Nigeria to do research as a member of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Centre for International Studies. For most of the rest of his life - apart from six years during the 1970s when he was research associate at Queen Elizabeth House, Oxford, and a senior associate member of St Anthony's College - he lived and worked in Nigeria, a country and people he grew to love. For many years he was associated with Ibadan University where he was research professor at the Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research (1967 to 1972). He travelled extensively within the country, often in remote areas, and carried out detailed and voluminous research, especially in education and youth employment. In 1978 he was appointed leader of the UNESCO educational planning team at the Federal Ministry of Education, Lagos. He served also as UNESCO representative. He worked with the Federal and State government to expand and restructure all levels of education in Nigeria including the implementation of universal primary education. Callaway gained the respect and friendship of Nigerians for his hard work, his generosity, encouragement and enthusiasm. He is survived by his wife and by their daughter and three sons.
Professor Sir Robert Macintosh; Obituary. The Times
[London, England] 8 Sept. 1989
Professor Sir Robert Macintosh, Nuffield Professor of Anaesthetics, University of Oxford, from 1937 to 1965, has died, aged 91. In a varied, pioneering career, he was an influential clinical teacher, was far-sighted in the development of anaesthetic equipment, and was the first Professor of Anaesthetics in this country. Robert Reynolds Macintosh was born in Timaru, New Zealand, on October 17, 1897. His father was C. N. Macintosh, a member of the original All Blacks rugby football team. Macintosh's childhood was spent partly in South America, but chiefly in New Zealand, where he was educated at Waitaki School. He joined the Royal Flying Corps in 1915 and was taken prisoner two years later when brought down over the German lines. He made many attempts to escape. After the war, Macintosh graduated in medicine at Guy's Hospital. Later, he became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, thus being one of the very few anaesthetists who were also qualified as surgeons. His interests soon became concentrated on anaesthesia and he rapidly built up a large and highly successful London practice in this speciality. When Lord Nuffield, by a munificent gift to Oxford University in 1937, enabled the development there of centres of clinical research in all branches of medicine and surgery, he made this gift conditional upon the establishment of a Chair of Anaesthetics there, the first in Europe, and made it clear that he wished Macintosh to be the first Professor of Anaesthetics. With some reluctance to leave his established position in London for the then unknown academic sphere, Macintosh accepted the invitation to the Oxford Chair and thus became the first Professor of Anaesthetics in this country. He combined organizing ability, already displayed in London, with modesty, easy friendliness and great personal charm. Macintosh's department (on appointment he was just 40 years old) soon became a famous meeting place for anaesthetists in this country and from all over the word.
Among Macintosh's activities were the development of many important pieces of anaesthetic apparatus, in particular the Oxford Vaporizer, a machine for the administration of ether which made anaesthesia safer and which, again through Lord Nuffield's generosity, was widely distributed to the Services; it was of great value in World War II. Macintosh organized the distribution of Iron Lungs, given by Lord Nuffield in 1938 to hospitals in this country and in the Empire. He wrote widely on anaesthesia, and in addition to many articles in the medical press, he published several books on the subject.
He served on many committees and in 1941, joined the Royal Air Force as Anaesthetic Consultant. He frequently visited every RAF hospital in the country and was responsible for the excellent organization of anaesthesia in that Service. He also took part in important research work for the RAF on high altitude flying. At the same time, he continued to act as Professor of Anaesthetics in Oxford. After World War II, Macintosh was frequently invited to lecture on anaesthesia and to demonstrate anaesthetic techniques in countries where skill in this area was only just emerging. His influence raised the standards of anaesthesia in many parts of the world.
He received academic honours abroad and at home, including the Honorary DSc of the University of Wales. Macintosh remained always unspoilt by his popularity and success. He had a great capacity for enjoying life, especially outdoor games, and possessed an infectious gaiety. After his retirement in 1965 Macintosh continued to live in Oxford and to maintain close contacts with the Department of Anaesthesia. He also continued his travels. Macintosh married firstly, in 1925, Margery Henderson, who died in 1956. There were no children of the marriage. He married again in 1962, Ann Francis (nee Manning) who survives him with his stepsons.
Timaru Herald May 1, 1998
Timaru sportsman Leslie (Les) Joseph Mahony died in Timaru recently. He was 81. Mr Mahony was a member of the Celtic Rugby Club for more than 60 years. He played in the club's third grade team which won the championship in 1933. He was also on the committee which organised the club's seventy-fifth anniversary celebrations. A keen table tennis and tennis player, he was a life member of the South Canterbury Table Tennis Association. He played for the St Patricks Table Tennis Club team and competed in the final of the South Island club championships. He also won the South Canterbury A- grade title in 1959-60 and frequently ...
The Independent (London, England) (March 25, 1999): p6.
DONALD MCKENZIE, one of the most stimulating and influential of university teachers of his generation, was as much at home in his adopted England as his native New Zealand. He was born in Timaru. The family's means were modest. In due course, they moved to Palmerston North and then to Wellington. By chance, at the age of about 14, he read King Lear. He was profoundly affected. To hear him read passages from that play even near the end of his life, and to witness his dramatic and interpretative energies, was to begin to understand how much English drama meant to him. But school came to an end when Don was 16, and he joined the Post Office as an apprentice, assigned to the Public Relations Department. There he struck up a friendship with the artist Don Peebles, who showed him how to understand art, and introduced him to a wider appreciation of the theatre. The Post Office encouraged him to enroll part-time in what was then still Victoria University College, to read English. The Wellington Shakespeare Society fostered his growing love of theatre, and here he met his first wife. He thought of a career in journalism and came under some suspicion for his interest in Russian. After taking his MA, he was appointed by Ian Gordon to a junior post in the English Department. A year later, he won a Leverhulme scholarship to come to Cambridge as a research student, with wife and small son. These were lonely days, and he recalled with especial affection the care given to him by Bruce Dickins at Corpus Christi College and by Muriel Bradbrook in the English Faculty. His subject was the working conditions of printers' compositors during a period that would comfortably contain Shakepeare's adult life. However, this proved disappointing, and when after some months his supervisor Philip Gaskell drew attention to the virtually unused archives of the Cambridge University Press from the 1690s and early 18th century, he seized on them with gratitude. It remained a source of wonder to him that the English Faculty condoned a thesis so much of which was economic history. Money from New Zealand was only sufficient for three years in all, and so he completed his newly framed PhD thesis in the remaining two. It was no frugal and hasty apology. With its wealth of documentation and informed attention to the relationship between the finished books and the records of their production, he brought the printing house to life, disproved many old theories and assumptions about why books look as they do, and laid the foundation for much of the rest of his career. The resulting two volumes, The Cambridge University Press 1696-1712: a bibliographical study, published in 1966, remain the locus classicus on the daily running of an early printing house. He returned to New Zealand, making use of the slow sea voyage to work away at his typewriter. Appointed to a more senior post at Victoria, where in 1969 he became Professor of English Language and Literature, for the next several years he moved between New Zealand and England, longing to be amongst the archives and libraries of England, but once there always aching to return home. With the help of microfilms of the relevant manuscripts, and slow ships, he brought together a series of surveys of apprentices of the London Stationers' Company from the 17th and 18th centuries (published in three volumes, 1961-78), and so gave new impetus to the prosopography of the British book trade. In Wellington, in 1962 he established the Wai-te-ata Press, persuading Cambridge University Press to lend one of its oldest hand presses and begging much of the equipment from printing houses in and around Wellington as they gradually closed down or were re-equipped. His list soon included Alistair Campbell, Iain Lonie, Peter Bland and others, some of the best writers in New Zealand at a time when it was difficult to get such work published. With Douglas Lilburn, he established a series of scores by New Zealand composers. He became the founding Director of Downstage, the first professional theatre company in New Zealand; he took an active interest in avant-garde film; and, ever an idealist, he even thought (not for long) of politics. Above all, he threw himself into teaching, with a vigour and intensity that earned him generations of grateful students. Whether in class, in an unscripted lecture, or on a more formal occasion, his energies and ability to hold an audience became legendary: one person describes his "hurling" his lectures at his hearers. By the time he was in his fifties, his mane of hair had turned white, adding further to a sense of occasion. Nor did his care of students end there. The innumerable demands for references continued long after his retirement, and he wrote scrupulously, with meticulous reflection on the nuances of individuals' strengths. At heart, recalling his youth, he remained often uncertain of himself; and it required a conscious effort not to be wounded by criticism that he believed mistaken. But, for his students, and for his more general audiences, the day was won by his conviction, the logical structure of his thought and writing, and his intellectual, oratorical and theatrical strategies. In 1987, he retired from Wellington. Always seeking to find 30 hours in every 24, he accepted an invitation from Oxford to a fellowship at Pembroke College and the English Faculty's readership in historical bibliography. The teaching was postgraduate, and he relished it, stretching the definition of bibliography so as to bring out innate enthusiasms. It was the same in departmental meetings and in committees in Wellington, Oxford and London, where he served for a while on the Advisory Committee of the British Library. In the last few years, he would sometimes acknowledge that the zeal that he threw into his arguments, and the passion with which he conducted his discussions, could be physically dangerous to his health. Some arguments he lost. In many others, sometimes seeing matters with more vision or from a different viewpoint (there was a certain advantage in being an outsider in England) he would turn a room, and be proved right. Not surprisingly, international honours mounted up: a corresponding fellowship of the British Academy in 1980, the Gold Medal of the (London) Bibliographical Society in 1988, an Honorary Fellowship of the Australian Academy of Humanities in 1988. His honorary doctorate from Victoria in 1997 gave him especial pleasure, albeit muted by current government policies for higher education. He successfully resisted suggestions that he should move either to Canberra or Virginia. In 1976 he delivered the Sandars lectures at Cambridge on the late-17th-century book trade, and in 1988 he delivered the Lyell lectures at Oxford. ....
Formally, he retired from Oxford in 1996. His last years were dogged by heart problems, but that did not necessarily stem his energies. A prolonged visit to New Zealand last Christmas enabled him to put many of his affairs there into order, and to see some old friends. But his dreams were never to be fulfilled of retiring for part of the year to his small house overlooking Cook Strait and as far out of Wellington as he could get while still having access to the Victoria computer. Instead, he collapsed in an Oxford library, hard at work on someone else's behalf, generous to the end.
Donald Francis McKenzie, bibliographer and teacher: born Timaru, New Zealand 5 June 1931; Fellow, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge 1960-66; Professor of English Language and Literature, Victoria University of Wellington 1969-87 (Emeritus); Sandars Reader in Bibliography, Cambridge University 1975-76; President, Bibliographical Society 1982-83; FBA 1986; Reader in Textual Criticism, Oxford University 1986-89, Lyell Reader in Bibliography 1987-88, Professor of Bibliography and Textual Criticism 1989-96 (Emeritus); Fellow, Pembroke College, Oxford 1986-96; married 1951 Dora Haig (one son; marriage dissolved), 1994 Christine Ferdinand; died Oxford 22 March 1999.
Herald [Glasgow, Scotland] 31 Aug. 1999
Effie O'Hare, political activist; born March 30, 1903, died August 3, 1999
EFFIE O'Hare (nee Seyb) was born on a farm on the South Island of New Zealand. Her father was a farmer who bred Clydesdales. Her family moved to Timaru, between Dunedin and Christchurch, during the First World War, where older relatives, of German origin, became naturalised citizens. She trained as a nurse, working at Sunnyside Mental Hospital, near Christchurch. Her journey to Scotland came about because a nurse she met at the hospital, originally from Clydebank, had been corresponding with Dan O'Hare, a communist councillor originally from Cardross Parish Council, then Dumbarton County Council. Effie wrote letters on her friend's behalf and was interested in the tone of the replies. Years later she learned that her friend was sent out to New Zealand by parents who did not want their daughter associating with Dan. Effie saved up some money and planned to see the world. She travelled with her friend to Scotland in March 1931, seeking work and a better life. They arrived when there was an economic depression. She was shocked she could not go from one job to another, as she was used to doing in New Zealand, where women had achieved the vote in 1910 and seemed to have greater equality. Her qualifications were not recognised by most hospitals, and it was five months before she got a job as a nurse at Larbert Mental Hospital in 1931, with help from a doctor Dan knew. She enjoyed the work but disagreed with the senior matron and so left. Eventually, in December, 1933, she married Dan O'Hare, and they lived in Alexandria. In the Vale of Leven, the Communist Party had a rare presence, with elected councillors who fought, along with the Labour Party, to win basic amenities such as a much-needed sewerage system. Effie attended her first demonstration, celebrating the vote for this measure, in January 1934. She was impressed by individuals such as Helen Crawfurd, and also by the CP's regular contact with its electors through meetings every Friday night held beside the fountain in Alexandria. Here, councillors gave a weekly report of events. She joined the CP in 1936 and opened a greengrocer's shop in Main Street, working 16 hours a day ''to keep a small business going to give us a living''. Dan, the most prominent communist in the area, was a blacklisted engineer who toured the area with his horse and cart selling groceries while doing his council work. Effie closed the shop in 1952, due to Dan's health, and they moved to Renton, where he died in 1956. A street was later named after him. Effie worked part-time as a home help until retirement in the 1970s and remained a communist until her death at the age of 96, ever modest of her contribution to the area's unique political history.
Winston-Salem Journal (NC) (July 5 2004): pB4
Mr. Ronald "Ron" Wright Appelbe, 72, of Winston-Salem died Thursday, July 1, 2004. He was born Oct. 3, 1931, in Timaru, New Zealand, the son of Leslie and Mary Elizabeth Appelbe. Ron was a two-time National Rifle Champion of New Zealand and later served in the Tank Corps of the New Zealand National Service. He went to Germany, where he studied engineering, majoring in photography at the University of Cologne. Ron later moved to London, England, working as a free-lance journalist. He worked for various American publications, including The New York Times, Life magazine and Business Week magazine. Ron came to the United States in 1965 to work for Business Week in New York. He moved to Winston-Salem in 1974 as head of the art/photography department for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. Ron retired from R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. in 1993. He was also an avid gardener who grew beautiful roses and vegetables. Surviving are his wife of 20 years, Sandra Simmons Appelbe; a daughter, Nicola of St. Petersburg, Russia; two stepchildren, Darryl Posey and Christian (Derek) Boles; his brother, Bruce (Trish) Appelbe of Timaru, New Zealand; two sisters-in-law, Linda Parker and Pat (Bob) Gibson ; and a brother-in-law, Jack (Leslie) Simmons. Other loved ones include many nieces, nephews and family friends. A memorial service will be conducted at 7 p.m. this evening, July 5, at Hayworth-Miller Silas Creek Chapel. Memorials may be made to First Assembly of God and sent to 1146 Magnolia St., Winston-Salem, NC 27103, to support Ron's daughter, Nicola, in her mission work in St. Petersburg.
The Times Nov. 16 2006 Father and son killed in glider crash.
Police in New Zealand confirmed today that a retired British Air Commodore and his son were killed when their glider crashed into rugged slopes in the country’s Southern Alps. Owen Truelove, 69, and his son James, 37, were was taking part in the South Island Regional Gliding Championships at Omarama. They were last heard from four hours after taking off from the gliding field near the Southern Alps yesterday at about 5.30pm local time. The Stemme 10V motorised glider, named Lily May after Mr Truelove's young granddaughter, was reported missing three hours later and rescue teams dispatched.
Some Kiwis in the RN served in the British boats of WWI, and about 200 New Zealanders served in submarines during WWII. Archibald Campbell married Anne McPherson and immigrated to NZ about 1875. They settled in Woodbury, near Geraldine. A grandson, George Gordon married Inez Tait, daughter of Captain James Tait who became harbour master at Timaru and later Greymouth. One of Inez brother's, Alan, became rector of the Timaru Boy's High School. Parents: Allan George Tait married Annie Margaret Gordon in 1914. Two of their sons had distinguished career in the NZ and Royal navies during the Second World War. Submariner Gordon Tait, from Timaru, was decorated during the war and went on after the war to be knighted and become Second Sea Lord of the Admiralty. He was knighted by the Queen, KCB 1977. He retired to Remuera, Auckland. Married on 29 May1952 to Philippa Helen Todd d/o Sir Bryan Todd - of the Todd Motors family, Wellington. James Tait was a submarine Captain in the Navy - later became a dentist, now retired in Wellington. Lady Philippa Tait was at the unveiling of a bust to Admiral Tait installed outside the Timaru Public Library in Dec. 2011 with her son, daughter and two granddaughters.
Times June 21, 2005
Admiral Sir Gordon Tait
October 30, 1921 - May 29, 2005, age 83
New Zealander who commanded submarines and destroyers, rising to become Second Sea Lord
As a young lieutenant, Gordon Tait was awarded the DSC for his coolness in action, particularly as gunnery control officer, and for his organisational skill as second-in-command of the submarine Taurus during war patrols in the eastern Mediterranean. Appointed in January 1943 as “third hand”, he took part in the intense battle to cut the sea communications of the Axis forces isolated in Tunisia, and subsequently operated in the Aegean. Commanded by Lieutenant-Commander Mervyn Wingfield (obituary April 15), Taurus sank several cargo ships by torpedo and many coastal caïques by gunfire. On one occasion Taurus entered the port of Neo Playa near the Bulgarian border and while engaged in sinking much minor shipping by gunfire, was attacked by a Bulgarian cavalry regiment using machineguns — probably the only instance in history of an encounter between such disparate opponents. Tait was promoted to second-in-command in June 1943. After the collapse of Italy, Taurus was sent to the Far East, where she sank the Japanese submarine I34. After a short visit on leave to New Zealand, Tait was appointed in July 1944 second-in-command of the submarine Tudor which, during a busy series of patrols in the Strait of Malacca, the South China and Java seas until the end of the war, landed clandestine parties, laid mines and sank numerous coastal supply vessels. Tait was mentioned in dispatches.
Allan Gordon Tait was born at Timaru, New Zealand. His father was rector of Timaru Boys’ High School, where he was educated. He joined the Royal Naval College Dartmouth in 1939 and, as war broke out, went to sea in the cruiser Nigeria; he took part in the assault on the Lofoten Islands and several Arctic convoys. When on transfer to the destroyer Matabele for training purposes, he had a fortunate escape. He was ordered to return to Nigeria for a professional examination. Matabele’s captain demurred but eventually let him go. Matabele was torpedoed on January 17, 1942, escorting Convoy PQ8, and there were only two survivors. After the war Tait continued to serve in submarines, passing the Co.’s qualifying course in May 1947 and commanding the submarines Teredo and Solent. From 1949 to 1951 he was aide de camp to the Governor-General of New Zealand, Lord Freyberg, VC. Returning to the UK, he commanded the submarines Ambush, Aurochs, Tally Ho and Sanguine. Tait’s personal qualities and leadership were of a high order; many have remarked what a pleasure it was to serve with him. A petty officer in Aurochs remembers: “He had the rare ability to break down the class distinction between officers and men with the result that his crew did things well for him because they wanted to. Those who misbehaved felt that they had let the family down.” Promoted to commander in 1956, Tait went to Canada on the staff of the High Commission, a post which was followed by an Admiralty tour. After commanding the destroyer Caprice, he was promoted to captain and commanded a destroyer squadron in the Far East. Visiting New Zealand in the frigate Ajax, Tait remarked to the port pilot that a nearby ship had a strange name — Pohutukawa. “You’re the first Pom to pronounce that name anything like correctly.” “This Pom,” said Captain Tait, “was born in Timaru.” He then commanded a submarine squadron and was appointed Chief of Staff to the Flag Officer Submarines. In 1970 he took command of the Royal Naval College Dartmouth, where he is recalled as undemonstrative, reflective and wise, with extraordinarily sound judgment about the potential in young people. His first appointment as a rear-admiral was Naval Secretary, planning the careers and manages the selection of the officer corps. As vice-admiral he was Flag Officer Plymouth and Port Admiral Devonport until 1977 when he was appointed to the Admiralty Board as Second Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Personnel. During his time in post Tait dealt with the perennial problems of the postwar Royal Navy — the difficulties of recruitment and retention during a prolonged period of retrenchment when pay scales had fallen well behind civilian equivalents. It was a problem that was causing serious discontent throughout the Royal Navy. Tait was appointed KCB in 1977. He retired to New Zealand in 1979, sailing the 60-foot ketch Viking, which he had bought from his father-in-law for one New Zealand dollar, home from the UK.
In New Zealand he held numerous directorships, including the Westpac Banking Corporation, Todd Corporation and AGC (NZ). His many charitable activities included chairmanship of the NZ Family Trust, president and chairman of trustees of the NZ Sports Foundation, the NZ International Yachting Trust and the NZ Maritime Museum. He was a member of the Spirit of Adventure Trust Board, promoting adventurous activities for young people. He is survived by his wife Philippa, daughter of Sir Bryan Todd, whom he married in 1952, and by their two sons and two daughters. Admiral Sir Gordon Tait, KCB, DSC, Second Sea Lord, 1977-79, was born on October 30, 1921. He died on May 29, 2005, aged 83.
17 Dec. 2011 - Mayor Janie Annear unveiled the Admiral Sir Gordon Tait sculpture at the Timaru Library. Naval representatives and RSA members were also in attendance. The bust was moulded by South Canterbury sculptor Margriet Windhausen and presented to the community by the Hervey Arts Trust. Admiral Tait, was New Zealand's highest ranking naval officer, a submariner, war hero, aide-de-camp to Lord Freyberg, head of the British Royal Naval College, second sea lord of the admiralty and company director. Mayor Janie Annear said she was lucky enough to meet Admiral Tait. "He was a man of mana; I loved his modest way." Hervey Arts trustee James Wallace acknowledged both Tait and Lord Elworthy. "We think these sculptures are of the highest quality. "These men had great charm, impeccable manners and told great stories; I was fortunate to meet both of them."
Admiral Sir Gordon Tait 06/06/2005
Admiral Sir Gordon Tait, who has died aged 83, commanded a record number of submarines; in his final appointment, as Second Sea Lord and a member of the board of Admiralty, he was the highest ranking naval officer to have been born in New Zealand. There had been Kiwis in the British submarine service in the First World War; and in 1942, attracted by the prospect of quick promotion, Tait became one of some 200 of his countrymen who entered the trade in the Second World War.
His first operational submarine was Talbot; he as a young
lieutenant then became gunnery control
officer in the submarine Taurus, under the gunnery expert Lt-Cdr Mervyn Wingfield. Tait
learned quickly, and after several sinkings of enemy shipping by gunfire and
three bombardments he was awarded a DSC in June 1943 for his courage,
coolness in action, and skill during war patrols in the Mediterranean.
Appointed in January 1943 as “third hand”, he took part in the intense battle to
cut the sea communications of the Axis forces isolated in Tunisia, and
subsequently operated in the Aegean. He
served one patrol as first lieutenant of Tally Ho, and in his next
submarine, Tudor, was mentioned in dispatches for Far East war patrols
between August 1944 and August 1945, including one action in which a
merchant ship was driven ashore in the Strait of Malacca and destroyed by
gunfire, despite Tudor coming under air attack.
Tait passed his "perisher" in 1946, and during the next 10 years, until promoted to commander, he was captain of a record number of submarines; these included Teredo, Solent, Ambush, Oryx and Sanguine. Three of Tait's four officers in Oryx went on to become admirals. Oryx's motto was the dog-Latin taurus excreta cerebrum vincit (bullshit baffles brains), which Tait had proudly brought with him from another submarine. But when he realised that this message was about to be sent on Christmas cards to all and sundry, he persuaded his officers to join him in inking out the potentially offensive words.
Allan Gordon Tait was born on October 30 1921 at Timaru, South Island, New Zealand, and went to Timaru Boys' High School, of which his father was rector. His grandfather and great-grandfather had been naval officers, but Tait's first taste of the Navy was in a school performance of HMS Pinafore in 1938. He joined the Royal Navy as a special entry cadet in 1939. As a junior officer, Tait served on Arctic convoy duties in the cruiser Nigeria, and in June 1941 took part in the interception, off Jan Mayen Island, of the German weathership Lauenburg. Though shrouded by fog, the German ship was detected by high-frequency, and her crew abandoned ship after they were fired upon at short range. The captured codebooks and the Enigma machine were probably second in importance only to those captured in the German submarine U-110 a month earlier, and helped complete the picture of how enemy naval codes worked.
Tait also served briefly in the destroyer Matabele; and between submarine commands, he was a natural choice as aide de camp, from 1949 to 1951, to Lt-Gen Lord Freyberg, VC, when the latter was Governor-General of New Zealand. Returning to general service, Tait moved smoothly through the ranks. He commanded the destroyer Caprice (1960-62) and the Leander-class frigate Ajax. During the period 1965-67, though the confrontation with Indonesia was at its height, Tait persuaded the planners to send him to New Zealand in Ajax for a round of visits which taxed the stamina - and the livers - of his officers. Subsequently, Tait was chief-of-staff to the Flag Officer Submarines; Captain of Dartmouth when Prince Charles trained there; and Flag Officer Plymouth. As Naval Secretary at the MoD from 1972 to 1974, Tait reformed the system of appointing officers, bringing all the different branches under his control. He became Second Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Personnel in 1977, at a time when government-imposed pay restraint was leading to record numbers leaving the Navy. He was shaken when the then Secretary of State, Roy Mason, was jeered by the petty officers during a visit to a ship, and put strong pressure on James Callaghan's government to improve pay and conditions. Callaghan, however, accused the chiefs of personnel of the three services of "mischief making", and ordered an inquiry into leaks for which they were allegedly responsible. Tait's reaction was to take his staff off for lunch and an afternoon's tennis at the Hurlingham Club. Soon afterwards there was a change of government, and the new prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, awarded all the services a handsome pay rise. After leaving the Navy, Tait retired to New Zealand. "Like an old salmon," he said, "I always knew I would come back." A member of the Royal Yacht Squadron, he started for home in a yacht, crossing the Atlantic with his wife; but they abandoned the voyage in the West Indies. Later, Tait bought for a pittance from his father-in-law an 1892-vintage 70ft ketch, Viking, in which he explored North and South Islands. His obvious talents, and his wife's connections, soon propelled him into the chairmanship of companies and trusts, including the Antipodes' largest brewery, Lion Nathan; the Todd Corporation, New Zealand's largest private company; and Mount Cork Airlines. A keen skier and tennis-player, Tait became president of the New Zealand Sports Foundation and chairman of the New Zealand International Yachting Trust. He also enjoyed the theatre and opera, and played both clarinet and piano. In March this year Tait presided over the 125th jubilee celebrations of his and his father's old school. Tait was always at ease with himself and with the world. Although self-effacing, he was an excellent leader: quiet, intelligent and cool under pressure. He was also a superb shiphandler.
Visiting New Zealand in the frigate Ajax, Tait remarked to the port pilot that a nearby ship had a strange name — Pohutukawa. “You’re the first Pom to pronounce that name anything like correctly.” “This Pom,” said Captain Tait, “was born in Timaru.”
Artist Statement: Like farming, art is a way of life.
The bronze bust of Sir Gordon Tait was stolen from outside Timaru library the first weekend in December 2012. WHY? The bolts securing the 35kg bronze bust to the bluestone stand were cut off. The bust was moulded by South Canterbury sculptor Margriet Windhausen and presented to the community by the Hervey Arts Trust in December 2011 and at that presentation Hervey Arts trustee James Wallace acknowledged both men. "These men had great charm, impeccable manners and told great stories; I was fortunate to meet both of them." Allan Gordon Tait b. on Oct. 30, 1921 at Timaru and attended TBHS 1935-1939 of which his father was rector, 1935-1947. Tait's first taste of the Navy was in a school performance of HMS Pinafore in 1938. He joined the Royal Navy as a special entry cadet in 1939. After leaving the Navy, Tait retired to New Zealand. "Like an old salmon," he said, "I always knew I would come back."
04/08/2012 Dominion Post
James Francis Tait
b. Timaru, October 13, 1918
m. Rae White (Dec) 3s, 1d
d. Wellington, July 14, 2012, aged 93
Jim Tait was a well-known Wellington dentist who once stood on the Italian submarine Cobalto as it sank in the Mediterranean off Bizerta, in Tunisia, during World War II. The incident happened on August 12, 1942, when the young sub-lieutenant was serving on the destroyer HMS Ithuriel. Ithuriel rammed the Cobalto, which was forced to surface after being depth charged by two British destroyers. When the crippled submarine surfaced, Mr Tait heard his skipper shout from the bridge "board it" - so he and a fellow seaman did just that. Their conquest did not last long, however, as the sub, minus the Italian crew, who all escaped, sank slowly beneath them as they attempted to get inside the conning tower. The Tait family has a treasured ragged photo of Mr Tait standing briefly on the bow of the sinking submarine. His grandparents were born in Scotland, a fact he was particularly proud of. His grandfather was the harbourmaster in Timaru from 1907 to 1916 and his father taught mathematics at Timaru Boys' High School before taking a post as headmaster of Dannevirke High School in 1925. Consequently, the Tait family was raised in South Canterbury and southern Hawke's Bay. In the mid-1930s his father was appointed rector of Timaru Boys' High School. From an early age Mr Tait's ambition was always to join the navy, but because he suffered from asthma, he failed the medical, so in 1938 he went to Otago University instead to study dentistry. There, he joined the university territorial unit. But Mr Tait did not give up on his dream of going to sea. He secretly enlisted in "Scheme B", a scheme where the New Zealand War Cabinet advertised in early 1940 for men who wished to serve at sea to join the Royal New Zealand Navy Volunteer Reserve and be sent to Britain for basic training. His father wanted him to complete his second year of dentistry study - something Mr Tait was grateful for when he returned to New Zealand in 1945. When lectures in Dunedin began in 1941, Mr Tait was aboard the SS Rimutaka, a passenger-cargo ocean liner, on his way to Britain. After completing his basic training in Britain he was posted as a seaman to the cruiser HMS Arethusa and spent time in the North Atlantic, where they were one of the ships assigned to look out for the German battleship Bismarck. He also sailed on convoys to Malta. He then went for officer training and his first posting as an officer was to the destroyer HMS Ithuriel, which participated in the big convoys to Malta, including the famous Harpoon and Pedestal convoys. Following his warm-water swim in the Mediterranean he transferred to submarines, first to HMS Varangian as navigating officer then as first lieutenant on HMS Virulent. These submarines carried out patrols off the coast of Norway to prevent German surface units from attacking convoys to Russia. In 1945 he stood down from active service and returned to the comparatively quiet life of a dental school student in Dunedin. He commented in later life that it was not easy for returned servicemen to return to being humble students again after the high intensity lives they had led. Not only were they older but they had previously had all sorts of different responsibilities. He also said that he missed his midday beer or sherry. After graduating as a dentist in 1948, he took a job at Wellington Hospital, where he worked mainly in the casualty department. On his first day on the job he performed seven extractions. In 1949, he met his wife-to-be, Rae White, who worked as an occupational therapist at Wellington Hospital. They met when she made an appointment for a filling. In later years, Mr Tait joked that his first words to his future wife were: "You have the biggest mouth I have ever seen." The future wife's response was equally scathing: "You have the biggest ears I have seen." The couple married in Waipukurau in 1950. He and his wife raised three sons and a daughter during what was a very busy time. He devoted much of his spare time in latter years to the Returned Services' Association, serving at local and regional level and on the national executive council for two decades. He also represented the RSA at several international veterans' conferences. A special interest was his membership of the RSA's welfare committee, which he served on until 2005. In 2003, the RSA awarded this humble man its highest honour, the Badge in Gold. He will be remembered as a straightforward, compassionate dentist, very proud of his four children and nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, with an active service ethic seldom matched. Sources: Tait family, Jeff Annan, David Maloney.
Evening Courier (Halifax, England) (Jan 2, 2007)
Halifax's legendary New Zealand centre Tommy Lynch has died, aged 79.
Lynch, a member of the club's Hall of Fame, passed away at home in South Canterbury on December 29. An All Black rugby union representative, Lynch signed for Halifax in 1951 on a five-year deal worth [pounds sterling] 5,000. He made his first-team debut early the following year and went on to make 188 appearances, scoring 112 tries and kicking nine goals. Lynch, who is survived by his wife, Quita, was a member of the Fax side that contested the 1954 and 1956 Challenge Cup finals. He returned home in 1956, but came back to England on several occasions, notably for his induction into the newly unveiled Hall of Fame in 1993.
UK Telegraph Sir Roy McKenzie 21/09/2007
Sir Roy McKenzie, who has died aged 84, gave away more than $100 million as New Zealand's most modest philanthropist, and was an intrepid sportsman in several fields. Preferring to be known as a "community volunteer", he added numerous charitable trusts to one which had been formed in the late 1930s with the wealth from a family chain of department stories. But he differed from his father in not only putting up money for deserving causes but personally taking a close interest in their progress, writing handwritten letters of encouragement. Using a specially created investment company, he arranged for educational scholarships, aid for the deaf and backward children as well as the foundation of Outward Bound in the dominion. McKenzie also helped to start its first hospice after seeing the work of Dame Cicely Saunders in London.
As the cracks in New Zealand's social security system became increasingly apparent he found himself approached personally for help. If he considered a cause worthwhile, he could pull out his personal chequebook, as he did when he was approached to fund a women's refuge and handed over $15,000 rather than the $1,500 for which he had been asked. McKenzie was remarkable for maintaining both his charitable activity and the family businesses without mishap or unduly upsetting politicians, though he criticised the health service for allowing too many people to die unnecessarily. As well as encouraging harness racing and climbing, he led the New Zealand ski team to the Oslo Olympics in 1952, though he broke his wrist in a practice run. He did more than sponsor the sport; he once lost control of his skis for 300ft when coming down Mount Ruapehu, on North Island, and broke an arm, a leg and two fingers. The incident is now commemorated on the map as McKenzie's Mistake.
The son of Sir John McKenzie, an Australian who served with the Victoria Bushmen's regiment in the Boer War before founding the McKenzie department stores in New Zealand, Roy Allan McKenzie was born on November 7 1922. When his father wanted a name for a new range of underwear he chose Roydon, after Roy and his brother Don, and later used it for one of his numerous trusts.
The boys were educated at Timaru Boys' High School, where Roy played wing with the first XV and excelled at tennis and long jump. He started to study Accountancy at Otago University but joined the Army on the outbreak of war. However, after Don was killed while training to be a pilot with the RNZAF, Roy followed him into the force.
After breaking an arm playing rugby he trained to be a bomb aimer in Canada, where he once found himself suddenly called upon to play the Warsaw Concerto on the piano. Shortly before D-Day he was posted to No 103 Squadron, RAF, with which he dropped "window" strips of aluminium to divert the Germans on D-Day. Qualifying as an accountant after the war, McKenzie returned to Europe, and climbed the Matterhorn before a training course at Marks & Spencer's head office in London. He then worked behind the counter at Reading. On the boat from New Zealand he had met Shirley Howard, whom he married in 1949; they adopted two boys and a girl.
Back in Wellington McKenzie settled into the family firm, where he was first a buyer's assistant and then concentrated on the expansion of the branches. He soon had his interest in charity fired by joining Rotary and then the family investment trust. He continued to play tennis and to enjoy harness racing. When, at 65, he was prevented from participating in the latter, he continued as a breeder, writing a book on the subject and making several visits to see his horses race in America. Once he had given up climbing he enjoyed mountain walking in New Zealand, Australia and Nepal. Roy McKenzie, who was appointed KBE in 1989 and ONZ in 1995, died on September 1.
The Irish Times Sat 01 Jan 2005 Master for 40 seasons of the Black and Tan foxhounds
Thady Ryan, who has died at his home in New Zealand at the age of 81, was one of Ireland's most respected exponents of field and country sports. A deeply religious man of high moral standing, but with an irrepressible sense of humour, he was best known in the world of hunting as master for 40 seasons of the Scarteen Black and Tan Foxhounds, which have been in the Ryan family for almost 400 years. His funeral was held in his adopted home-town of Temuka, N.Z., on Tuesday.
Gored by a bull. Clayton. Jan 11 2006
The death of 19-year-old Lincoln University student after a bull attack at Clayton Station, near Fairlie, yesterday is a tragedy for a family that already knows the pain of losing a family member through a farming accident. The student was originally from Westport. "He was out doing his normal farming work with the group and they were loading bulls on the truck from the cattleyards, a normal farming procedure. "No one saw what happened but he was in the pen with the bulls and another worker heard some banging and called to see if he was all right." In 2003 Mrs Orbell lost her husband, 60-year-old Andrew Orbell, in a farming accident on the same property. Emergency services were called to Clayton Station at 10.45am. A helicopter dispatched by ambulance services was turned back after a local doctor confirmed the youth's death. It appeared the charolais bull cornered and gored the student inside the truck after he became separated from his co-worker. The student was at the farm to work during the summer and would have returned to Lincoln University to continue his studies this year. He was one of five staff on the station.
Timaru Herald Friday, 19 October 2007
An elderly man died after attempting to cross the Orari River in his four-wheel-drive vehicle on Tuesday evening. Patrick Joseph Sugrue, 77, of Geraldine, was washed down stream in his vehicle after he misjudged the current when trying to cross the Orari River by the intersection of Burdon and Silverton roads. Mr Sugrue was found at 6.30 on Tuesday evening. Temuka constable Tim Easton suspected the man had drowned. There was nothing suspicious about the death. Mr Sugrue lived in the area and was driving a near new vehicle. Mr Easton said the incident was a reminder for all people to be careful when crossing rivers.
Lt-Col John Maling The Telegraph 06 Apr 2009
Lieutenant-Colonel John Maling, who has died aged 94, won an MC on the North-West Frontier and a DSO in Burma. In January 1945 Maling, then a major, was second-in-command of the 1st Battalion Sikh Light Infantry (1 SLI), part of 99 Brigade, 17 Division, when it moved to Wangjing in the Imphal Plain. The town of Meiktila was captured from the Japanese early in March. Its loss cut off the flow of men and equipment to their Thirty-Third Army in the north, and 1 SLI flew from Palel to the area of Meiktila to prepare for the inevitable counter-attacks. By early April Maling was the acting commanding officer in a series of hard-fought actions. On April 9 the battalion attacked the village of Hminlodaung. In the words of the citation for his DSO: "So skilfully was the attack conducted, so daring was the execution and so resolute Major Maling's leadership, that this position fell within one hour and 128 of the enemy were accounted for." In the period April 7 to April 9, it added, Maling had inspired all ranks in a series of ferocious attacks on extremely strong positions, and 402 of the enemy had been killed. The next day, while directing covering fire, Maling was hit in the head by a shell splinter and evacuated to a base hospital. John Darwin Maling was born on February 2 1915 at Timaru, New Zealand, and educated at Christ's College, Christchurch. He went on to Sandhurst and was commissioned in 1935 before joining the 1st Battalion the Leicestershire Regiment in India. The following year he transferred to the 1st Battalion (King George V's Own) 11th Sikh Regiment (1/11 SR), Indian Army. In October 1937, in Waziristan on the North-West Frontier, he was commanding a company when his leading platoon was rushed by a party of five enemy who had lain hidden until they were 20 yards away. He immediately ordered his HQ forward at the double with the bayonet, and came in on the flank of the attackers, all of whom were killed. He was awarded an MC and was also later mentioned in despatches. Maling was the adjutant and a founding member of the Mazhbi and Ramdasia Sikhs, later known as the Sikh Light Infantry, which was raised at Jullundur in 1941. Initially, the only vehicle was Maling's private car, but they subsequently graduated to bicycles, camel transport and even buses. The first consignment of stores included 10 buckshot rifles and a vast supply of .22 ammunition (but no rifles to match), and in an All-India Civil Defence exercise the battalion was armed only with bamboo mosquito-net poles. Firing practice was done with six air rifles purchased from the bazaar, and a prize was awarded to the sniper who brought back the largest or heaviest victim – usually a bird; Maling was always nervous in case an over-zealous sniper returned with the Area Commander in his bag. After recovering from his wound, Maling rejoined 1 SLI in May 1945 and, the following month, took command of the battalion. He was again mentioned in despatches. In 1947 he went to Staff College, Quetta, then served first as a battery commander with 66 Airborne Light Regiment RA and then as brigade major with the 53rd Welsh Division. Maling served in Egypt with 33 Airborne Light Regiment RA before instructing at the School of Land/Air Warfare. In 1956 he took command of 16 LAA Regiment in Cyprus, then returned to the School of Land/Air Warfare as an instructor. He retired from the Army in 1959 and went back to New Zealand. From 1959 to 1981 he worked for the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service. For a number of years he was a voluntary worker with the New Zealand Schizophrenia Fellowship. John Maling died in New Zealand on March 16. He married, in 1950, Frida Paget, who survives him with their son and three daughters.
New Zealand's most famous sheep dies. The sheep was put down after advice from a vet at Bendigo Station, near Cromwell, on June 6. Perriam was evidently choked up as he told of his sad decision to euthanise the failing old guy. Shrek was not just a gimmick, but a true pet. Referring to him as his "great old mate".
June 20, 2011 The merino wether, a castrated male sheep, shot to international fame when he was found on 15 April 2004 having evaded capture for most of his eight years on the Bendigo Station in Otago. Woolblind and suffering under the weight of his massive fleece, he was taken down to the homestead where some local teens nicknamed him Shrek because he looked like an ogre. A striking photo of him made the front page of the Otago Daily Times and from there every media outlet in the country, and then the world, wanted to know about this hermit merino. The solitude, intense summer heat and metres of snow in the winter were no match for the mighty Shrek. He was almost 17 years old (birthday c. 28 Nov. 1994) – almost twice his life expectancy. In that time he had flown in planes, visited sick children in hospital, met prime minister Helen Clark, and was shorn on live television on an iceberg floating 100k off the coast of Dunedin celebrate his tenth birthday, 30 months after his initial shearing. At the time he carried 27 kilograms of fleece, compared with the average of 4.5kg for a merino. The fleece was sold for charity and the money went to Cure Kids. The worldwide publicity he gained was worth an estimated $100 million for the export industry. Five hundred locks of wool were stapled on engraved mounts when Shrek was first shorn in 2004. In Nov. 2008 Shrek was flown to Auckland and for the third time in his 13-year life was shorn at the Sky Tower as a fund raiser.
Nov. 2009 Bendigo Station owner John Perriam's book Dust to Gold: The Inspirational Story of Bendigo Station, Home of Shrek. The book details the history of the station, which Mr Perriam took over after losing his farm to Lake Dunstan, and the new ventures he has embarked on, including vineyards and now Shrek. "Diversification has really secured Bendigo as a successful high country station," he said. All royalties from the book will go to children's charity Cure Kids. Now 16 years old (about 70 in sheep years), Shrek is living the high life and had developed a certain "rock star attitude", Mr Perriam said.
New Zealand's most famous sheep, a merino named Shrek that became a celebrity when he was found in 2004 after six years on the loose, has died at a South Island farm, his owner said Tuesday. Shrek went missing from his herd in 1998 and was assumed dead until he was found in a mountain cave six years later, sporting a massive fleece that made him appear three times his normal size. A shearer clipped his oversize fleece, which weighed in at almost 27 kilograms (60 pounds), around six times the wool normally gathered from the average merino. The sheep was flown to meet then prime minister Helen Clark at the national parliament in Wellington, became the subject of several children's books and made regular charity appearances. But owner John Perriam said Shrek had to be put down over the weekend as, at 16 years old, his health was failing. "He was just an ordinary sheep, went AWOL and hid, and when he was found he became the darling of the nation," Perriam told TVNZ. "He had an unbelievable personality. He loved children and he was really good with the elderly in retirement homes." Reports said a memorial service would be held for Shrek this week at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Tekapo. Shrek would be cremated and his ashes may be spread on Aoraki/Mt Cook. Shrek also left his mark with the woman who found him. Ann Scanlan, who had worked at the station for more than 20 years, said nabbing Shrek while mustering had been the start of an "unreal" seven-year journey. Miss Scanlan said Shrek had a "persona and personality I have never seen on a sheep" and was at home in hospitals, planes, and around "very sick people". It was impossible to put a price-tag on how much he had raised for medical research, because royalties from the three books written about him were ongoing. It was important to not only remember him but to celebrate what he stood for, Josie Spillane said. "At the end of the day, it is the death of an iconic Kiwi. He just happens to be a sheep." DreamWorks previously granted permission to Mr Perriam for Cure Kids to use the Hollywood studio's trademark as "Shrek the Sheep" for charitable fundraising. [Service put on hold and Shrek put on ice. A Queenstown taxidermist will ensure the legend of Shrek the sheep lives on he has been commissioned to stuff and display Shrek, so the world-famous sheep can be installed at Te Papa museum in Wellington. ]
Rachel Harris - Aoraki Polytechnic Jouralism Student 29/06/2011
Former world shearing-champion Peter Casserly cut Shrek's world-famous fleece on national television in 2004. The Omarama-based shearer holds an unbeaten world record for blade shearing 353 sheep in a nine-hour work day. He said he landed the Shrek job because he was "just the closest shearer to the sheep at the time". Mr Casserly, who has been shearing since he was 16, said Shrek was "the most challenging shearing job" he had ever encountered. "[He was] the woolliest sheep I've ever seen." Shearing the 38 centimetre long fleece was very hard. Took him 20 minutes. "He was very difficult to open up because his fleece was like a shield," he said. Mr Casserly used one hand to pull the wool away from him to prevent cutting Shrek. An assistant also helped hold the weight of the wool. Shrek was wobbly on his feet due to the weight of the fleece but had a "surprisingly good" temperament, he said. "He was so pleased to get the fleece off." Mr Casserly said he was proud he managed to shear Shrek's "snowy white" fleece without a single cut to him. Omarama publican Ross Kelman was Shrek's last shearer, at Tarras School in November. He was saddened by his death. "He was tired, [he was] twice the age of a normal sheep. He was lying down a lot," he said.
Jan. 2014 Omahau Hill Station Big Ben's fleece weighed 28.9 kilogram record. Central Otago sheep Shrek's six-year growth weighed 27kg.
Ashburton Guardian, 17 May 1911, Page 1
A piece of wool taken from a hermit or wild sheep caught in the Opuha Gorge has been shown the Temuka Leader." The wool is fully 20 inches in length which gives one an idea of the weight of coat which wild sheep carry about with them in the hills.
Ashburton Guardian, 7 June 1911, Page 1 Long-Stapled
There are now to be seen in the Christchurch office of the Sheep-owners' Union two specimens of long stapled wool. One was part of a fleece of a seven-year-old crossbred wether, owned by Mr Pym, of Opuha Gorge, Geraldine (says the "Press."). The fleece, which weighed 361b, was shorn for the first time last season. The length of the wool is 26in. Two years ago the wether was under snow for ten weeks. The other specimen is a staple of wool of over 26in. in length, from a halfbred full-mouthed ewe, the property of Mr Broughton, of White Rock, North Canterbury. The ewe had never been into the shearing shed, but was well-known to the musterers. She took up her quarters on a rocky face, and sheltered on a large projecting rock on a bluff, seldom going away from her territory except for a drink from a creek a few hundred yards from the face. When the musterers appeared the ewe made for the rock, and remained close to it for protection until the men and their dogs disappeared. With a view of exhibiting the ewe at the last Christchurch Show, Mr Broughton sent out and secured her on a pack horse and by this means she was carried to within a few chains of the dray which had gone out to take her the remaining distance of ten miles to the station. The ewe, however, died when within a few miles of the station, probably from fright, and also from the hot weather experienced at the time. In both these specimens the wool is in an exceedingly sound condition, and there is no appearance of any break in the staple.
South Canterbury NZGenWeb Project
In New Zealand, 359 people were killed in 2008, compared to 421 in 2007.