Rugby-loving logger 'a good sort'

KAT DUGGAN
Last updated 09:48 20/01/2014
Bill Bryant
RUGBY LOVER: Pelorus lock Bill Bryant charges ahead into Waitohi opponents Anthony Keenan and and Jason Jerry during a game at Lansdowne Park.

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A 53-year-old Marlborough man killed last week by a falling tree was the kind of guy that would "never let you down", a friend says.

William (Bill) Bryant was killed last Thursday in an accident on a vineyard in the Wairau Valley.

Bryant was leading a crew of four cutting down pine trees when the accident happened. He died at the scene.

Speaking about his friend during the weekend, Pelorus Rugby Club chairman Denis Marfell said Bryant's commitment to the rugby club and to his friends were things that stood about him.

Bryant played rugby for the club at premier level until he was 39, between the years of 1980 and 2000, Marfell said.

"[In 1998] we had 18 games and he played 17 of them . . . over his time he didn't have a lot of injuries . . . he was there, he never let you down," he said.

During his time with the club, Bryant played lock, blindside flanker, loose forward and No 8.

He was also on the club committee from 1984 until 1994.

Despite having less to do with the club since moving from Canvastown to Renwick, Marfell said Bryant could still be seen on the sidelines.

Marfell said his friend's death had been a huge shock. He was speaking to him only a day before the accident.

"He was a pretty good sort," Marfell said.

He said Bryant, who has one son, loved his Ford motor vehicles, but work "sort of consumed most of his time really".

"He had been in the logging industry all his life, he had a bit of a stint in the Chatham Islands farming with his father but other than that."

During his time in the industry, Bryant opened a sawmill in the Wakamarina Valley with his dad, Marfell said.

A representative for the family asked for privacy.

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- The Marlborough Express

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