Tireless community stalwart remembered

TARYN UTIGER
Last updated 05:00 31/07/2014

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Staying out until midnight and patrolling the streets was something Barry Watt did until the week he died.

Every Thursday night the 82-year-old would volunteer his time to do community patrol and help the police keep the streets of Taranaki safe.

"He was a very hardworking person," his daughter Phillipa Watt said.

"He was not interested in doing things for himself, but he made sure he helped others and did work for the community."

The past president of Grey Power New Plymouth, who died on Sunday, was a stalwart of the community, New Plymouth District councillor Keith Allum said.

"I have known and worked with Barry for many, many years and he was part a big part of the engine that keeps this community running.

"There are people who are always volunteering and Barry was one of them," Allum said.

"And boy, he was always ready for a laugh and a joke."

Allum and the council paid tribute to Watt at Tuesday night's policy meeting with a speech and a moment of silence.

"He was always here for meetings and he made many presentations in his time."

His involvement with the community was almost too long to list, Allum said.

He was an active member of the Positive Aging Trust, served on the health committee, was involved in the Masonic Trust and was also a volunteer at the Hospice Shop.

His daughter said he was more than a volunteer at the Hospice Shop, he was a founding member.

His late wife Joy Watt set up the original shop and Barry, who was brought up in Hawera, had been there right from the very beginning.

Both worked tirelessly when the shop opened in an old house on David St and were instrumental in raising the funds needed to set up a big complex for the Hospice Shop.

A service for the former engineering and tech drawing teacher at Spotswood College will be held in the Chapel of W. Abraham's at 10.30am on Thursday.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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