A lifetime of effort for the disabled

Derek Hayman
Derek Hayman

Derek Hayman, a Timaru man well known for helping people with disabilities, and for his long association with several sports bodies, has died aged 79.

Born in Waimate, Derek contracted polio as a two-year-old in 1936, when an epidemic swept throughout the country.

That disease started Derek on a life-long mission helping people with disabilities that culminated in a Queen's Service Order in 2002.

He attended Nukuroa School, then in 1947 went to Timaru Boys' High School when the family moved to "Northdown", on Kellands Hill.

Derek tried many sports, including boxing, but excelled at golf.

On leaving school he joined his father Jim on the farm and was later joined by younger brother Tim.

Derek's involvement with the Crippled Children's Society (CCS) began as a child. The society was established at a Rotary Club conference at Timaru in 1935 and Derek was one of the first members to be registered in South Canterbury.

In June, 1958, he married Patricia Stafford at St Mary's Church and they later had two children, Helen and Barry.

Highly visible in the community, Derek was involved in several organisations and sports.

In 2001, he was made a life member of the New Zealand Crippled Children's Society for his outstanding work.

A year earlier Derek was awarded the Rotary Club's highest honour when he was made a Paul Harris Fellow.

The fellowship recognised his contribution to the community, through CCS, the New Zealand Barrier-Free Trust and post-polio support groups.

His work with the CCS showed his determination to improve the lives of those with disabilities.

From 1978 to 2001 Derek held various administration roles in the society, including two terms as president and as chairman of the local executive committee.

He also spent 15 years with the New Zealand Barrier-Free Trust, which promotes environments that are accessible and usable to everyone.

Locally he fought for a lift to be installed on the piazza on the Bay Hill.

All this commitment was recognised further in 2002 when Derek was awarded the Companion of the Queen's Order for Community Service (QSO) for his work with groups working with people with physical disabilities, and in sporting administration, a thoroughly deserved accolade.

Derek also had a passion for golf, and spent a decade playing off a six handicap.

Typically for him, it was not enough to just play the game, he coached and became involved at an administrative level as well.

He became an honorary vice-president of the New Zealand Golf Association.

He was also awarded a life membership of the Aorangi Golf Association.

Derek was on the committee of the Timaru Golf Club for over 30 years and in 2006 was made a life member. Later in life he was heavily involved in course rating, along with his wife Patricia who is also a life member of Aorangi Golf.

He was also a South Canterbury representative in small bore rifle shooting.

When his two children took up tennis, he also became involved in administering and refereeing the sport at a provincial level.

A a proud South Cantabrian, Derek also liked nothing better than a good debate on just about any subject.

At the time of his death, Derek was still patron of the Wai-iti Tennis Club.

The Timaru Herald