Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Good Keen Kiwi

The marvellous Chris Cole Catley was farewelled in Auckland today. She was a prominent New Zealander having contributed to the good of our society in so many ways, and she'll be sadly missed. She was a member of Frank Sargeson's 'inner circle' and as such she and Janet Frame knew each other quite well. Chris was also a very close friend of Michael King, who wrote the biographies of both Frank Sargeson and Janet Frame.

Chris has a quite astonishing list of achievements including being responsible for the renaming of the fruit known as a 'Kiwi' around the world! She was - among other things - a feminist, a Labour party activist, a journalist, an educator, a founder, an innovator, a lterary benefactor, a publisher, an author - and there's no doubt her tremendous energy and good nature charmed and overcame most of the obstacles she encountered in her drive to make the world a better place. Being such a lovely, fun-loving person, she'll be deeply missed by her family and friends and colleagues. She certainly has made the world a better place in so many ways and her legacy won't be forgotten.

I was privileged to know Chris and to cooperate with her on some literary and charitable projects and she was always a delight to work with and very supportive of my role as guardian of Janet Frame's estate.

One of the good guys. Farewell Chris, and may you rest in peace.

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