Farewell to founder


Mourn­ers at the funeral of Steven­son and Tay­lor co-founder Peter Tay­lor heard of an only child who went on to have a large ex­tended fam­ily, who rose from earn­ing one pound aweek at his first job to help­ing es­tab­lish a busi­ness still run­ning strong 65 years later.

St An­drew’s CHB in Waipuku­rau was packed with around 130 mourn­ers for last Wed­nes­day’s funeral of the grand­fa­ther of nine and great grand­fa­ther of five.

Rev­erend Mike Coutts started the ser­vice by say­ing that ‘Pete’, who died aged 91 on Au­gust 11 with fam­ily by his side af­ter a short stay at Mt Her­bert House, had had “a good in­nings”.

His daugh­ter Louise Clark paid trib­ute to her fa­ther’s care­givers who went the “ex­tra mile” to al­low Mr Tay­lor to re­main in the Welling­ton Rd home he had shared­with his latewife, Beryl, for as long as he could.

Mr Tay­lor’s eu­logy was de­liv­ered by his grand­son, James Clark, Louise’s youngest son.

He said his grand­fa­ther was born in Woodville, the only child of Don and Rita Tay­lor, who were work­ers on farms in Pahiatua and Eketa¯huna.

But due to their tran­sient shep­herd­ing life­style, Mr Tay­lor spent a lot of time at Man­gatain­oka liv­ing­with his ma­ter­nal grand­par­ents be­fore even­tu­ally re­turn­ing to live­with his par­ents to start cor­re­spon­dence school.

James said it was a lonely life for an only child, but his grand­fa­ther was com­forted by the com­pan­ion­ship of he farm an­i­mals and went on to de­velop a life­long love of dogs.

In 1937 he had his first of four stints at­tend­ing Waipuku­rau Pri­mary and also at­tended tane School—“a very happy time” of his life— be­fore leav­ing school aged 13.

His first job was for the Yates chain of gro­cery stores on a mea­gre start­ing wage of one pound aweek, be­fore go­ing to work atWil­liams and Ket­tle Ltd in Waipuku­rauwhere he met life­long friend, Ian ‘Mac’ Macken­zie.

The pair would of­ten go rab­bit shoot­ing and be­fore long he had met his other best mate, Brian O’Con­nor, who in­tro­duced him to trout fish­ing which soon be­come a pas­sion.

Mr Tay­lor later hon­oured his best mates by nam­ing his two sons af­ter them, af­ter mar­ry­ing Beryl in 1960.

Mr Tay­lor then worked for four years atWaipuku­rau En­gi­neer­ing Com­pany in the lube bay, which James said was a steep learn­ing curve for his grand­fa­ther and in­volved awork­place ex­plo­sion­which cost him some fa­cial skin and most of his hair.

He then went to work at McLean’s Garage and in

1953 opened en­gi­neer­ing firm Steven­son and Tay­lor with part­ner Bill Steven­son in the old black­smith’s on the cor­ner of Rus­sell St.

Early the next year he left the garage to work full- time at Steven­son and Tay­lor where he took on the forg­ing work. Adi­rec­tor and share­holder, he ended up in the parts depart­ment be­fore re­tir­ing from the busi­ness in 1988.

James Clark said his grand­fa­ther had many hob­bies, in­clud­ing chess and stamp col­lect­ing, and be­came a life mem­ber of both the CHB An­glers Club and the CHB Wine­mak­ers and Brew­ers Club.

In re­tire­ment, he en­joyed spend­ing time­with his grow­ing brood of grand­chil­dren and great grand­chil­dren and could of­ten be found in his gar­den or cav­ernous shed with a dog close by.

“He will be re­mem­bered as a great story teller, gar­dener, wine­maker, at times a fu­ri­ous de­bater, but above all, a lov­ing hus­band fa­ther, grand­fa­ther and friend. Ta-ta Pete,” said James.

Brian O’Con­nor’s son Sean de­liv­ered a trib­ute toMr Tay­lor, who he said re­mained a prom­i­nent part of his life af­ter his fa­ther died when he was 11.

“Pete was al­ways there for mu­mand forme, never too busy to of­fer help and ad­vice. This meant a huge amount to us.”

He said he looked up to Pete his whole life.

“He showed me what it meant to be a good fa­ther, good hus­band and friend. Pete was the most gen­uine and sin­cere per­son I’ve ever met,” he said.

Af­ter the funeral, a pri­vate cre­ma­tion was held be­fore daugh­ter Louise held an open home at Kir­riemuir Farm.

“Peo­ple came out and rem­i­nisced. It was a lovely gath­er­ing. It was just as he would have­wanted,” she said.

Peter Tay­lor

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