Rodney farewells three legends

23:13, Sep 05 2012
BIBBY COTTER: This photo was taken at her 102nd birthday in January.

Three prominent people died in the past week.

Gretchen Elizabeth "Bibby" Cotter died aged 102 on Friday at Pinehaven Lodge, Hibiscus Coast.

Her funeral is today at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Puhoi.

Born in January 1910, the year of Halley's Comet, Mrs Cotter was one of the oldest surviving Baradene College students. Her family owned a Mangawhai hotel and she spent much of her later life in Waiwera where the family had holidayed for four generations.

For more than 35 years in Waiwera Mrs Cotter was heavily involved in the community.

She was a foundation member of the Silverdale and Puhoi historical and herb societies, the Friends of Couldrey House, the Elderly People's Luncheon Club, the Hibiscus Coast Catholic Parish and also took an interest in Mangawhai's historical society. Mrs Cotter was in the "Friday night ladies" at Woody's Bar and Grill at Waiwera.


Donations to Hibiscus Hospice are suggested, as is the case for Gary McCrystal of Gulf Harbour, who also died on Friday, aged 68, after battling cancer.

The NZ National Boxing Federation president, Mr McCrystal was a classic car fan, winning Auckland and national awards for his mustangs.

He was convenor and chairman of the Intermarque Concours d'Elegance Car Show at Ellerslie and helped organise the Thunder on the Coast display at The Leisure Centre in Stanmore Bay last year. Mr McCrystal was a member of the Auckland Mustang Owners Club, The Cobra Car Club and the Corvette Car Club.

His funeral was held yesterday at Meadowbank.

Another identity to die last week was Graham Crawshaw, 80, who established Windy Ridge Farm south of Warkworth to help boys "regain their boyhood" while improving their literacy skills.

He campaigned for literacy and petitioned Parliament, along with 1695 others, to promote the teaching and training of phonics as the foundation for reading. Phonics is a method of teaching reading and spelling based on the phonetic interpretation, element by element, of spelling.

Mr Crawshaw's funeral was held last Thursday at his beloved Arapohue Bush Camp, Dargaville.

Rodney Times