Cyclist killed after collecting stamps for charity

An elderly Taupo man who died after being knocked off his bike had been collecting stamps for charity.

Nevill Palmer, 93, was hit from behind by a light truck in Tamamutu St on Wednesday afternoon.

Police investigations are continuing, but it is believed Mr Palmer turned into the path of the truck, which was travelling in the same direction.

Mr Palmer sustained head and leg injuries and was admitted to Taupo Hospital, where he died.

Mr Palmer was heading toward his Williams St home when the crash happened.

Just before he had been at a local business to collect used stamps which staff kept for him, and had almost fallen over after losing his balance. He had explained to a person in the office that he had low blood pressure after biking into the town.

Employees at the office said his regular visits would be sadly missed.

Mr Palmer, who had lived alone since his wife, June, died three years ago, was known for his independence, said his daughter Frances.

"He was a free spirit . . . he loved cycling and often biked into the township daily.

"It's really sad he died in such a horrific way, but it wouldn't have been him to be sitting in a chair."

Mr Palmer was born in Wellington in 1919, and went to Wellington College.

Collecting stamps had been a passion since primary school.

His father, Alfred, worked at the BNZ head office in Wellington and would bring home stamps from countries in the British Empire for his son, Mr Palmer wrote in an autobiography.

After retiring to Taupo he collected used stamps from local businesses to give to charities such as the Leprosy Mission and Bible Society to help raise money.

A devout Christian, Nevill Palmer had trained at Flock House in Bulls and worked for the Herd Improvement Association as a herd tester, and later as a successful Manawatu dairy farmer.

Fairfax Media