Gen­tle boy who was the heart of fam­ily

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Paper, Your Place - LAWRENCE GULLERY

‘‘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

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