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Eccentric balloonist remembered

Peter King will be remembered for his love of woodworking and balloons. PHOTO/PETE NIKOLAISON


Peter King 08/12/47 – 09/03/20

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Carterton man Peter King will be remembered for his outside of the box thinking and zest for life.

A fourth-generation woodworker, he was well known for his beautiful kitchens and timber benchtops after taking over the family woodworking business, Kings Woodworking Company, in the late 1970s.

The company was founded by his great-grandfather Daniel Thomas ‘DT’ King in 1887.

It closed last year, but his sons still own the building and said the next generation would continue to do creative things from its location on Broadway.

King is credited with helping introduce timbers such as blackwood, elm, and macrocarpa to the commercial market and had become distinguished within the industry for using sustainable plantation species – something which wasn’t common practice at the time.

Carterton mayor Greg Lang, himself a wheelwright, described him as a “very clever artist” and good friend.

“He certainly made life fun,” he said.

“He was someone who thought outside the box.”

King’s contribution to civic life in Carterton included starting the Great Carterton Wheelbarrow Race and forming the ‘Esteemed Society of Petes’.

Its four rules include, only a Pete can give a card to Pete, Petes must toast to absent Petes, never raise your hand to another Pete without first buying him a beer, and only lend tools to another Pete.

He was also a high-flyer in the New Zealand ballooning community.

Levin-based balloonist Denis Hall said they met over 30 years ago.

“He was well known and well respected within the ballooning community.

“We taught ourselves to fly back then and Peter liked to fly high.”

Hall said King would be remembered as a hardworking, competent, and dedicated member of the community, as well as an eccentric character.

“He took woodworking very seriously. He was very creative with it.”

Peter King dressed in his home-made wooden suit, made over many years. PHOTO/FILE

At King’s funeral on Thursday, Hall donned a wooden vest, one part of a wooden suit King had crafted to showcase the qualities of different woods at trade presentations.

Fellow balloonist Howard Watson said he had travelled with King many times in the 20 years they had known each other.

He said he was an “amazing guy” with a “good sense of humour”.

“He’s one of the oldest members of the balloon community. He’s going to be missed.”

Having been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, King held an ‘exit party’ before he died, to celebrate his life with family and friends.

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