During 2016, the ATC was advised that a former member, Roger Taylor, had left a significant bequest to the ATC in his will. This was received during October 2016, with no instructions as to how he would have want it used.
At the committee meeting in December, it was decided unanimously by the committee (with Tony abstaining) that a figure representing less than 40% of the total would be allocated towards the materials for the construction of the first new hut in the southern Kaimais by the Kaimai Ridgeway Trust.
The reasoning behind this allocation was that by contributing to the construction costs, this would be a fitting and permanent way in which to express appreciation of this generous bequest - signage at the new hut will remember Roger and provide recognition of the Auckland Tramping Club's contribution to the project. Once constructed, the hut will be available for all outdoor users, and be maintained by the Kaimai Ridgeway Trust, with no obligation on the ATC to provide further funding.
The following was presented by Brenda Sewell at Roger’s funeral early in 2016. Printed here with her permission (thankyou Brenda)
FAREWELL TO AN OLD FRIEND
Roger and I have been friends for 57 years. We both left England (independently) in July 1958, Roger flying directly to New Zealand to take up a job with Holeproof Ltd. as a knitting machine designer. I came by boat where my school friend Ann and I shared a cabin about the size of a cupboard.
In September Ann and I went on our first trip with the Auckland Tramping Club – a day trip to the Waitakeres where we met Roger with several other new members – ‘Another Bloody Pom’ somebody called out; there were rather a lot of us. We enjoyed exploring New Zealand with our tramping friends. One Friday night the proposed trip to the Waiorongomai valley was cancelled and Roger suggested that some of us take the train to Swanson and then tramp through the night to Ngaro Te Kotare, the hut close to the Anawhata Road. And this is what we did, arriving about 1 am where we lit the fire and placed some mattresses in front of the blaze and kipped down for the rest of the night.
Roger soon progressed to longer and longer trips, overnight trips and eventually week long tramps. He was very fit and great fun to have around. From those early tramping days Roger and I were always friends and have remained friends since – probably because we never went out with each other so there never was the trauma of loving and breaking up.
At the end of the 1950s the Tramping Club social committee put on a concert each year at one of the Club Nights, written mainly by Cliff Barnett. Roger was a very active participant, taking the lead in ‘Rindercella’ – singing and playing his guitar – he was very good.
Over Christmas 1961 a group from the ATC spent 2 weeks at Opito Bay on the Coromandel Coast – Roger was ensconced in the Bachelors’ Tent with Tony Stevens, Barry Archer, Keith Harris and Harold Butler. The snorkelling and fishing was magnificent. On Christmas Day enough crayfish were caught for all for dinner and we had fish or crayfish most nights. A small area was cleared of bush behind our tents and this became known as the ‘passion pit’. We had many sing-songs there and, one night, a toga party where we all dressed up and ate dinner around the spitted roast lamb.
The toga party set the scene for many parties over the next few years – often organised by Roger – a shipwreck party, back-to-front party etc. There was a Halloween party at Roger and Keith’s house just off Mountain Road which was a great success The mid-winter parties at Ngaro Te Kotare became famous following the year when the ‘social club’ hired the piano from Attwaters and then carried it, in the rain up the muddy track from the road, through the bush, to the hut. Several club members played musical instruments as well as guitars so there was quite a band – it was a very noisy evening well away from neighbours.
We bought a section at Opito Bay and Roger one at Otama. Very soon afterwards he built his house there – a flash modern one with all conveniences – except there was no power. It was many years later that the power came to Otama and Roger was connected. In fact he and Glenys were so used to a house minus electricity I think they were quite upset at losing their independence.
Although we never tramped together in later years we visited each other at Opito and Otama and enjoyed social events in Auckland. A memorable one was Roger’s 70th birthday at the Thai restaurant at Royal Oak; then there was his 80th at the - CTClub in Remuera. Although not well Glenys brought him to my 80th birthday nearly 2 years ago where he caught up on some old, and ancient, friends. So many good memories.
Roger was a good friend to the end. It was a pleasure and an honour to call him a friend and my life has been made brighter through his friendship.