Much-loved paraplegic fire victim farewelled

Last updated 05:00 27/08/2014
Tribute to Bruce Cochrane
TRIBUTE: A photo with the words 'Go well Bruce. Loved by many' was placed near the property.

Relevant offers

Completing a marathon and hitch-hiking across a foreign country is not for the faint-hearted - Wanaka man Bruce Cochran did it in a wheelchair.

He lost his life last Thursday when a fire started in the roof of his Albert Town granny flat as he slept. Cochran, 53, was farewelled in Wanaka yesterday. About 200 family and friends attended a service for him at Rippon Vineyard, under a bluebird sky looking over Lake Wanaka and the town he loved.

Longtime friend Matt Gunn said "for someone who seemed so fragile at times, he also seemed indestructible".

Cochran, born in Papua New Guinea, was in a motorbike accident at the age of 17, which left him a paraplegic. However, he had simply got on with his life and his grit, determination and courage was an inspiration to others.

His sister Barbara shared stories of him visiting her in the United States before deciding to go hitch-hiking across the country and returning with "some crazy stories".

He also turned up out of the blue and completed a 42km marathon in Tahiti, the last kilometre in sand.

His "wheels were now wings", she said.

Many work friends from Cardrona Alpine Resort, where Cochran worked for more than two decades, paid their respects at the service.

Cardrona representative Scott Little said Cochran would be sadly missed at the ticket office.

"He loved the mountains. He would soak in the environment," Little said.

Friends from Whangarei also talked of his love for Bob Dylan.

"Our mate had the smile to light up the world," Gunn said.

His family thanked the Wanaka community for their love and support and for being a part of Cochran's life.

Ad Feedback

- The Southland Times


st strap Communites
Our E-Editions

Read our free publications online.

Win with the Times

Win with us!

Stl paper logo
Subscriber services

Click here for subscriber news and information.

ST digital edition thumb
Digital edition

Read The Southland Times online with our digital edition.


Click here to subscribe to our publications

Special offers
Opinion poll

What is your impression of Invercargill's teens?

Friendly and helpful, a credit to their town

No better or worse than anywhere else

Not impressed with them at all

Vote Result

Related story: Letter: In praise of young people

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content

Daily diversions
stimes pan #stayclassysouthland

Cartoons by Chicane, aka Mark Winter


Today's puzzles


Your Family News
Birth notices and anniversaries


View marriage and birth notices from around the region

Death notices

Death Notices

View obituaries from around the region