Teacher, golf fan and charity volunteer

Bob Shaw
Bob Shaw

Thousands of Taranaki schoolchildren will always remember the lessons taught to them by master teacher Bob Shaw.

The educator, golf enthusiast and foodbank volunteer died on Christmas Eve, after bypass surgery for heart disease in Waikato Hospital. He was 78.

His wife of 53 years, Liz Shaw, nee Gilhooly, said her husband was a teacher who was loved by his pupils and had a special affinity for children facing challenges.

"A master teacher is how he's been described," she said yesterday. "He knew how kids learned and he encouraged them to learn to the best of their abilities."

Mr Shaw was born in Masterton in 1934. He studied at Wairarapa College and Wellington Teachers College. He and Liz married while both were teachers at Rahotu School.

They had four children and moved around, teaching in New Zealand and overseas, before returning to New Plymouth in 1976.

Since then he has worked at Central, Marfell and Oakura schools, before heading to Devon Intermediate as deputy principal. He retired in 1998 after 43 years teaching.

But it was not just education that drew Mr and Mrs Shaw together, and teaching was not the only field in which he left his mark. Keen golfers, the pair played many rounds together at the Ngamotu golf course. Mr Shaw was also the serving president of the New Plymouth Golf Club.

Mrs Shaw said her husband was a brilliant organiser, who played a big role putting on the Taranaki Open and other special events at the club.

Mr Shaw was a devoted father and grandfather and enjoyed chronicling his and his family's life story. Each of his children have their own copy of a 200-page family volume, complete with photos, stories and timelines, titled The Liz and Bob Story.

Taranaki Daily News