By Don Farmer
Two Wairarapa men of distinction, in totally different fields, died in the last eight days both leaving behind a legacy which will endure.
Pat Wood died in Foxton where had had lived for some years but he was a confirmed Greytown man who gave sterling service to the town mostly, but not exclusively, in his role as a fireman.
Mr Wood’s ancestry was firmly rooted in the town and it was never in question that when he died he would return to be buried in the soil of the place he always called home, as so it was to be.
Greytown has always been blessed with having a fire brigade second to none and a long list of dedicated fire chiefs, among them Mr Wood and his father before him.
Pat Wood was also a serving district councillor during the time of John Garrity’s mayoralty and was at one time publican at the town’s “bottom pub” and owner and founder of a hardware shop in Main Street.
His move to the Kapiti Coast came some years after his wife Beryl was killed in a car crash and Mr Wood felt the need to move there and look after a family member.
A man best known in Featherston but well known nevertheless throughout the entire Wairarapa was Alex McLeod snr who died in Masterton at the grand old age of 97.
Mr McLeod was founder of a highly successful clothing retail business that to a large extent was the hub of the Featherston business district along with his across-the-road neighbour, John Chung’s grocery.
Apart from his business success Mr McLeod was widely known for his exploits as an avid whitebaiter and his love of dancing.
As a widower he could often be found on the dance floor at the Masterton Cosmopolitan Club enjoying old time dancing to the sounds of the Goldie Oldies Band.
Among his most endearing attributes was his courtesy, politeness and friendliness to everyone he came into contact with.
Men of the calibre of Pat Wood and Alex McLeod snr are hard to find and even harder to replace.
May both of them rest in peace, they have certainly earned the right to do so.