"We were planning a wedding, now we're planning a funeral."
That was the family reaction to the death of Cameron Clow, 30, who was killed in Bahrain on Friday morning, Bahrain time, after he was hit by a speeding motorist while out training on his bike.
His parents, Gail and Warren Clow, who spoke to the Taranaki Daily News at their New Plymouth home yesterday surrounded by friends, said their only son was due home with his New Plymouth fiancee Kate Morgan in three weeks' time to plan their December wedding.
Mr Clow, a multi-talented New Plymouth sportsman and teacher, his sister Gretchen and Ms Morgan had all been teaching at the Ibn Khuldoon National School in Bahrain.
"We were planning a wedding, now we're planning a funeral," Mr Clow's father said.
His mother said Cameron had regularly gone out on training runs early in the mornings to beat the high temperatures, as he had done on Friday.
"But he never came home."
Early reports are that the 51-year-old male motorist was allegedly speeding when he hit Mr Clow who, the family has been told, had been riding around a curve in the road about a metre out from the curb.
According to the Gulf Daily News, the local man is in custody.
The news of the popular man's death has reverberated around the world.
Former Taranaki rugby lock, Paul Tito, playing for the Barbarians, wore a black armband on the field in Sydney on Saturday in remembrance of his good mate since their school days at New Plymouth Boys' High School.
Former principal Lyal French-Wright, now principal of Al Khor International School at nearby Qatar, has offered his assistance to the family.
While a distraught Ms Morgan immediately returned home, arriving yesterday, Mr Clow's sister has decided to stay in Bahrain, intent on accompanying her brother on the trip home to New Zealand, Mrs Clow said.
"Gretchen and him had a very special relationship, that's why she won't leave until he's coming home," Mrs Clow said.
"We need to have him home and we need Gretchen here."
They are appreciative that the Bahrainian king's daughter, whose son was one of Mr Clow's students, has offered to pay for one of the teachers to fly home with Ms Clow to keep her company. His aunt and uncle, Yvonne and Rob Watts, received the news when they arrived at Singapore on their way to Europe on holiday and immediately returned to be with family.
Mrs Watts described her nephew as a genuine nice guy who always had time for a chat.
Mr Clow had reached the top echelon in his chosen sports.
His father said his son was always into a challenge.
"He packed an awful lot into his life," he said.
Until the middle of last year, he had taught at Highlands Intermediate, where "the kids loved him to bits," his mother said.
The last challenge before leaving home for the two-year teaching contract in Bahrain was to run the Fletcher Marathon at Rotorua.
New Plymouth Old Boys chairperson Sue Mitchell said: "Cameron played senior rugby as a lock with the club for four or five years. Even when he switched to triathlons and multisport, he still came along to the games."
Mrs Mitchell said Mr Clow was everybody's friend.
"Whether you were 19 or 90, he never had a bad word about anyone. He was just such a good friend to everyone."
Mrs Mitchell said club players wore black arm bands on Saturday as a mark of respect.
"The mood was pretty sombre in the clubrooms afterwards," she said.
"It's been a bad year for the club with Peter Stewart dying suddenly earlier in the year."
A third generation Fitzroy Surf Lifesaving Club stalwart, following in the family tradition of his father and grandfather, Mr Clow was a national representative.
He regularly played lock in New Plymouth Old Boys senior team, switched codes to triathlons, then multi-sports and returned to play rugby.
- Taranaki Daily News
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