'Born leader' Sir Wilson farewelled

Last updated 14:18 26/10/2012

Sir Wilson Whineray's funeral was held today at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Parnell, Auckland.

A MAN OF GRACE AND STANDING: Sir Wilson Whineray at the 2008 Rugby Awards in Auckland.
SIR WILSON WHINERAY: At the 2008 Rugby Awards in Auckland.
Wilson Whineray Funeral
PHIL DOYLE/Fairfax NZ Zoom
Sir Wilson Whineray is farewelled at Auckland's Holy Trinity Cathedral.

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Dignitaries, family and friends of rugby legend Sir Wilson Whineray filled Auckland's Holy Trinity Cathedral today to say farewell.

There was standing room only to celebrate the life of Sir Wilson and his leadership, business and people skills.

All Blacks team mate Sir Brian Lochore said there was no greater leader than Sir Wilson. 

"I believe he was born a leader. Leadership is about trust and Wilson had a bucket load of trust," he said.

"He trusted people and people trusted him - that's why I believe he was so successful as a captain."

He said Sir Wilson was also a good friend.

"He was a very social man too, he loved nothing more than being in the team room late at night have a few social beers," he said.

"And he would be sitting there with a guitar he wasn't particularly good at, but enjoyed."

Sir Wilson's son James Whineray spoke of his father's work at Carter Holt Harvey, where he was employed for 23 years, and the memories they had shared as a family.

"We never felt second to Dad's career," Whineray said.

"In weekends we would go to the Turoa ski field which was owned by Carter Holt Harvey back then and was part of Dad's responsibility.

"I remember him rolling backwards down the rope tow into children behind him."

Whineray called his father a special man whose death would leave a huge gap.

"He once said a rich life is not measured in how much money is in the bank but how much experience in life you have had," he said. 

"By Dad's own definition he was a very rich man."  

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