Riverton fundraiser keeps on giving

Peter Templeton, a staunch supporter of community fundraising and events in western Southland.
Jamie Searle/Stuff

Peter Templeton, a staunch supporter of community fundraising and events in western Southland.

Riverton volunteer Peter Templeton is best known for commentating timber sports but he also organises four fundraising events a year.

His fundraising involves firewood raffles and, if the wood is not donated, he pays for it out of his own money. 

Templeton always sells tickets outside the main door of Riverton's supermarket, SuperValue, arriving most days at 7.30am and leaving at 4pm.

St John and the Colac Bay and District Progress League are among groups to receive money from Templeton's fundraising.

"We've also raised funds to help a student go on a school trip to Australia," he said. 

"I like getting out and helping people, it makes you feel good."

Templeton is in a group of volunteers fundraising for a four-metre-high artificial Christmas tree for Riverton. The tree project is the brainchild of Tanya Colyer, and quiz evenings to generate funds have been held at pubs in the town and Colac Bay.

Mid-year, the tree will be changed to a tree of remembrance to honour people and special events.  

The last of the four quiz nights will be at the Riverton Lodge on August 3. Templeton is the quiz master. 

"I've always been a good talker," he said.

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"You've got to have a good sense of humour and memory, it keeps people entertained."

Templeton was called on to be master of ceremonies for Riverton and Colac Bay's versions of talent show, Stars in Your Eyes. Money raised at the shows went to the Cancer Society and the Colac Bay Hall (for an industrial kitchen). 

Another interesting task Templeton has done is conduct an entire funeral service at the request of the deceased's estate.

Last summer, Templeton commentated at the southern timber sports Christmas and New Year circuit for the 29th year, calling at Cromwell, Gore, Otautau, Riverton, Colac Bay and Tuatapere.

He performs the same role at the Browns' Sports Day in January. 

"I did the South Island axemen's champs at Reefton this year," said Templeton, who is a life member of the Tuatapere Axemen's Athletic Society and Southland-Otago Axemen's Association.

"I've been going to woodchopping since I was 7." 

He competed for a few years but his passion lies with commentating. 

Tuatapere born and raised, Templeton lived in the western Southland town for 28 years.

He remembers the days the Tuatapere district had 15 sawmills, and being aged 12 when his family's home got connected to electricity.

"We got taught how to deer stalk and pig hunting and how to handle a rifle."

His uncles, Andrew and James Templeton, opened the first grocery shop in Tuatapere in the early 1990s.        

Templeton also lived in Tasman and New South Wales and has been a Riverton resident for the past 30 years.

His hobbies include making outdoor furniture from totara posts, and polishing gemstones.

 - Stuff

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