Matamata Lion Russell lived life full of giving
Russell Leonard Green August 22 1926 - July 25 2013
Russell, like many Matamata Lions, came from other parts.
He was born in Greymouth, living there for his primary education, but after moving to Onehunga he went to Otahuhu College.
When he left college he worked on some dairy farms at Te Miro, and later, dairying was his main occupation, but he returned to Greymouth where he took up butchering.
There he met and later married Yvonne Bond, the start of a long and happy marriage and they had two sons. Among his many abilities Russell was also an accomplished musician, playing several instruments.
In 1956 he moved back to farming at Te Miro, then to Ngarua, Te Poi and Hinuera where in 1973 Russell and Yvonne bought their own farm.
There Russell became very involved with rugby, first coaching and becoming President of Hinuera and in time being the delegate to the Waikato Union.
The club during his presidency acquired its own field and added the Indoor Cricket/Netball Pavilion.
In 1976 the Greens moved to Okauia where they stayed for 22 years and Russell became interested in horse racing.
He was in a partnership which had a horse win two Listed races.
This led to his 10 years on the Matamata Racing Club committee, being very involved in the construction of the swimming pool, then the allweather track and the third project, the new on- course training barns.
Russell was very keen on golf, not only playing and watching but with some of his farming friends helping with maintenance of the course.
As well as all of these activities he and Yvonne have had the opportunity to enjoy some overseas travel.
More recently he has spent a considerable amount of his time and skills with the Matamata Health Shuttle, initially as helper and driver, later as coordinator.
The shuttle has been a great success story, and it led to Russell’s recognition as a Local Hero in the 2012 New Zealander of the Year Awards.
He was a foundation member of Greymouth Lions Club in 1963, and after a break from Lions he rejoined in August 2004, being welcomed into the Matamata Lions Club.
Russell quickly became fully involved in the club’s activities as he did with all the other groups which enjoyed his membership, although he did not hold any specific office.
con- tributor to every organisation he joined he was a much valued member.
His friendship Lions in particular have appreciated, and the members of the club providing a guard of honour at the church during Russell’s funeral service showed his family they have the club’s sympathy.