Rustic pine, sawdust fitted the rugby warrior of the trees

00:27, Mar 24 2014
Frank oliver funeral
FAREWELL, FRANK: Frank Oliver is carried from the church on Saturday. Pallbearers from left are James Oliver, Mervyn Murphy, and Anton Oliver with Marist rugby players in the guard of honour.

The plain wooden casket at Frank Oliver's funeral on Saturday suited the rugby warrior.

The family had been presented with various options, including shiny handles, but it just wasn't Oliver.

So one was made from solid pine with the rustic look, supplied by Rob Green at Kimbolton who grows the trees, mills his own timber and makes the caskets.

Even the handles were plain wooden ones and workers from Oliver's Tiritea Sawmill had sprinkled sawdust on top.

The loud haka which broke out as the procession left St Pat's was performed by none other than Oliver's old Hurricanes captain, Norm Hewitt.

■ Should Zac Carter single-handedly demolish the Jets when they meet this season, he might cop a barrel of raspberry from the basketball crowd.


Carter is a new signing from Australia for the Waikato Pistons and is eligible to play for New Zealand courtesy of a father born in Palmerston North. Even so he will start the NBL season as a relative unknown.

■ New Manawatu Jets import Brandon Jenkins was welcoming the tropical Palmerston North weather on his arrival last week.

The American has just come from his home town of Detroit where there is a metre of snow on the ground, so he was glad to be getting the late summer rays.

■ It is almost unthinkable for the Varsity rugby team not to score a try in a club match.

Well, they couldn't score one against Feilding on Saturday. And last year it happened once, on June 1, when Old Boys-Marist beat them 8-6 at Massey University. Prior to that it happened in 2009, in a loss to OBM.

■ Loyal Manawatu Standard readers might remember a former editor, Paul Cavanagh.

He was the editor until 1985 and in recent years has been large as life in bowls, often around Manawatu. Now living in Wellington, he is soon to retire as Bowls NZ's community development officer so we will see him less often.

Whanganui's former New Zealand bowler Keith Slight will replace him.

■ The Levin Bowling Club had one of the proudest days in its 107 years recently when it was presented with its Bowls NZ ClubCheck Gold Award, the first in Horowhenua.

Levin has been running businesshouse summer bowls for 22 years, encourages community use of its facilities, has replaced its old artificial green with a $200,000 hi-tech carpet surface and runs Youth Bowls with local intermediate and secondary colleges.

■ Kairanga's Brooke Fitch has returned from the world barefoot waterskiing championships in Mulwala, Australia as a world champion. The Freyberg High School student, 16, won the junior girls' overall gold medal, winning the slalom, tricks and jump events. She was also in the open women's team that finished second and the junior girls' team that was third.

Fairfax Media