Gentle boy who was the heart of family
‘‘He was just a natural rugby player and I had high hopes of one day seeing him make the All Blacks. He was capable of fulfilling that dream for me.’’
Every parent remembers the date when their children were born.
For Matamata mum Casey Morgan, October 30, 2000, at 8.50pm, is the date and time her baby boy Corbin came into this world.
That is a date she will remember as a time of extreme happiness and joy.
There is another date, however, she’s learning to come to terms with. That’s the date her 16-year-old son was tragically taken from her.
Corbin died after the ute he and three friends from Matamata College were in crashed on Maisey Rd, Waharoa, at 10am, on Tuesday, November 1, 2016.
The group of four had been returning from a nearby chicken farm where they had been working to raise money for a planned rugby tour of Argentina next year.
It’s a month now since news of the fatal crash struck Casey and her family.
Inside their home in Matamata, about six photos of Corbin are positioned in the living room. They are pictures of Corbin with his college rugby team, another of him ‘‘looking cool’’ and others to remind the family of their ‘‘gentle young man’’.
The family understands the grieving process takes time. You don’t ‘‘get over’’ a tragedy like this but instead you manage to deal with grief one day at a time, they explain.
A police underway to investigation is determine what caused the crash. There’s a lot of speculation about who is responsible but Corbin’s family want this to be a time of peace and calm.
They want time to move past the initial shock of losing a loved one and learn how to deal with the grief.
Casey in particular wants to talk about what she remembers most about her son. She wants to thank the many people around Matamata who offered their support.
‘‘Corbin was a real nan’s boy, from the time he was a baby until he was about 10 years old,’’ Casey said.
‘‘He loved his nan and wanted to be with her.’’
Sport and in particular rugby was a big part of Corbin’s life growing up in Matamata. He from have loved the Chiefs.
He would spend hours watching those teams with his nan, Ngaire Morgan, any time of the day or night.
Ngaire also loved going along to watch Corbin play rugby and by all accounts, his team enjoyed having her along.
‘‘I would so look forward to Saturdays and watching him play rugby,’’ Ngaire said.
‘‘I used to give him $5 for each try he scored. Sometimes it would cost me $30. He was just a natural rugby player and I had high hopes of one day seeing him make the All Blacks. He was capable of fulfilling that dream for me.’’
Corbin was captain of his Matamata College 2nd XV team. He had grown up largely a shy young man, cautious about change in his life, but showed a different side to his character when it came to leadership, while All Blacks and the a keen sense of still keeping humour.
‘‘He said to me, mum, I made the 1st XV but I’ve decided to give the 2nd XV a hand,’’ Casey said.
Off the field, he never missed a chance for a joke, whether it be trying to teach Ngaire his dance moves or hogging the shower at home, leaving no hot water for others.
Corbin told his family he wanted to be a farmer when he finished secondary school next year. But his family convinced him to look at a few other career options before deciding.
They had signed him up to attend Wintec next year, for one day a week, during his final year at college. At Wintec, he had planned to take courses around trades, such as plumbing and building.
‘‘He liked the idea but was cautious about whether he would have to live in Hamilton, he probably didn’t want to be away from home,’’ Casey said.
Corbin liked to ‘‘look cool’’ and always had his mobile phone ready to record the people and places he loved in his life around Matamata.
Corbin earned a special connection with each family member and they described they way he owned ‘‘a large part of our hearts’’.
‘‘We just want to say we love him and we miss him,’’ Casey said. ’’The family offers a huge thank you to everyone who has offered their support to us. It has been unbelievable. To the whole of Matamata, thank you for your support and kindness.’’
Corbin Morgan, had a love for rugby and his nan, Ngaire Morgan. Ngaire Morgan