Friends to fulfil slain man's dream

NICCI MCDOUGALL AND FAIRFAX NZ
Last updated 05:00 23/07/2012
Phillip Cottrell
MURDERED: Phillip Cottrell, the Radio NZ journalist who died after being beaten in Wellington's Boulcott St.
Manuel Robinson
PHIL REID/Dominion Post
ACCUSED: Manuel Robinson is charged with the murder of Phillip Cottrell, a Wellington journalist.

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Sue Hollows is planning to visit Samoa this year - it's not so much for a holiday but to remember her brother and fulfil one of his dreams.

Family and friends of journalist Phillip Cottrell will continue his travelling escapades with the aim of visiting 100 countries before his 50th birthday.

Mr Cottrell, a Radio New Zealand journalist, was just 43 when he was attacked in a Wellington street after an overnight shift at the Radio New Zealand studios in December last year.

Te Anau-based Mrs Hollows said yesterday that travelling had been his passion and he had visited 73 countries, which included one trip in which he flew to Brunei and back within four days.

"Everything was about travelling," she said.

Mrs Hollows set up a Facebook page for him and within a few hours it had quickly grown.

Now, more than 150 people are set to travel the outstanding 15 countries on the list, which included Japan, Turkey and Greece, before Mr Cottrell's 50th birthday: June 5, 2018.

Friends had already visited a few of the remaining countries, lifting the total to 85.

People visiting the countries had to carry one of five engraved torchlight keyrings, she said.

"Phillip would be thrilled," Mrs Hollows said.

The care and support of people had been incredible, she said.

A mosaic had been built and stood outside Wellington Airport with the words, Still Flying.

"It's absolutely incredible what people have done with his memory - he was so loved," she said.

Mrs Hollows plans to visit Samoa and tick it off the list later this year and eventually have Mr Cottrell's travel blog published.

A trial is scheduled to begin on December 3 in the High Court in Wellington for Nicho Allan Waipuka, who was 19 at the time, and Manuel Renera Robinson, who was 17.

Both are charged with Mr Cottrell's murder.

nicole.mcdougall@stl.co.nz

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