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John Porter, a foundation trustee of the Whareroa Guardians Community Trust, died this week

John was a foundation trustee of the Whareroa Guardians Community Trust but his involvement with Whareroa goes much further back than that.

He was a wonderful raconteur and delighted in describing how as a child living in Paekakariki, the Marines came to town and interacted with the children.

He roamed over Whareroa as well as what is now QE Park and grew to love them.

He was actively involved in QE Park from its earliest stages.

With Rachel Kiel-Taylor, John was responsible for noticing that Whareroa was to be sold off by Landcorp.

The Guardians of Whareroa were formed leading to its eventual “saving” and return to the public estate under DOC in 2005 and the formation of this Trust in 2006.

The community owe a huge debt to John’s observation and perseverence.

Another specific activity was his determination that Mackays Crossing should be correctly labelled by the NZ Geographic Board. Various spellings of “Mackay” appeared on maps and in documents. John spent hours in the Turnbull Library digging out old maps and documents to establish that Mackay was indeed spelt with a small “k”.

His knowledge of the history of the area was profound and we are grateful to have copies of those old maps available.

John was an active trustee for several years bringing valuable insights.

He was also a regular volunteer and maintained a keen interest in Whareroa to the end, including planting 3 totara trees a couple of months ago.

John had many other roles in the community, this note refers only to his work at Whareroa.

Our condolences to his widow Betty, who was always supporting John in the background often with plates of home baking, and to his family.

John will be sorely missed.

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A farewell gathering will be held next Weds afternoon, March 27th, 2019, at 2pm at the Paekakariki Memoral Hall, 98 The Parade, Paekakariki.