Home' Waitomo News : 7 April 2016 Contents 10 WAITOMO NEWS Thursday, April 7, 2016
About 1958 he helped his elderly
companion plant a large number
of Pohutakawa seedlings along the
Mokau River bank.
These have now grown into mature
trees that provide shade for beach
Although he created a large 2.3ha
(6ac) garden at Kopaki, Keith sur-
passed himself when creating his last
garden at Tate Rd.
His sister Dawn says: “This is
arguably the most beautiful of all
Keith’s gardens featuring several
acres of stunning landscaped walk-
ways, ponds, formal gardens, shrubs
She describes Keith as a farmer
who just loved gardening.
Pat says: “Keith had a passion for
rhododendrons, maples, magnolias in
fact anything that flowered”.
Over the years his gardens have
been admired by numerous groups
and gardening circles – all would go
home with many cuttings and seed-
lings which he generously gave them.
A talented sportsman Keith shared
his passion for surfcasting and trout
fishing with his brothers.
Many an hour would be spent at
Mokau where the boys used the fam-
ily bach as a base and would gather
around the table eating the day’s
bounty and talking over the day’s
Keith also had a love of the hunt-
ing and every autumn he and Roger
would spend a week in the bush
hunting deer. But when Roger was
tragically killed in a 4WD accident,
Keith gave hunting away.
During the 1960s and 1970s, Keith
represented King Country in tennis
at junior and senior levels, where
he won several championship mixed
doubles titles playing alongside
His passion for the game of bowls
was developed at the early age of 12
when he accompanied his parents to
club nights at the Mangapehi Hall for
His greatest achievement in indoor
bowls came in 1980, when he won the
New Zealand singles title. In later
years he was runner-up twice at the
Keith started to move into the
outdoor game in the late 1970s and
in 1983, skipped the winning team
in the BNZ National Mixed Fours
As an outdoor bowler Keith is a Te
Kuiti legend with his name appearing
nearly 80 times on the Te Kuiti club’s
honours board for numerous titles
whether it be singles, pairs, , triples,
mixed or fours.
His health began to deteriorate in
the late 1990s after being diagnosed
with prostate cancer.
Although he underwent treatment
his health slowly worsened, so he and
Pat made the decision to close the
nursery’s doors in 2014.
Although his health failed even
more, and with the cancer causing
him extreme pain, Keith’s determina-
tion and courage shone through as
he continued working in his beloved
garden as long as he possibly could.
Dawn says: “Family and friends
were always important to him as he
loved to laugh and share memories
Although given just months to
live last year, Keith was determined
to walk Tracey and Nicola down the
aisle on their wedding days. And he
Pat says her husband “was always
regarded as a gentleman and that has
been reflected in the many messages
received since his death.
“He was a talented genuine man
who stood up for what he believed.
Even in winning he showed humil-
In the early hours of March 5,
Keith died peacefully with his family
at his side.
He was farewelled at St Andrew’s
Presbyterian Church in Te Kuiti on
March 9, and is survived by Pat,
daughters Nicola, Julie and Tracey
and grandaughter Ellee.
DETERMINED: Although suffering from cancer, Keith was determined to walk two of his daughters down the aisle on their
wedding days. And he did.
ARTISTIC FLAIR: The 2ha (6ac) park-like garden Keith created at his Tate Rd property was
regarded as his most beautiful of all by his family.
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