Allan Anthony Pengelly. 17 February 1928 - 6 April 2016
The community was saddened in April by the death of one of its great contributors, Allan Pengelly.
The oldest of seven children, Allan was born and bred in Helensville, where he lived on and off all his life. He was educated at Helensville Primary School and Helensville District High School (later called Kaipara College).
His grandmother Mary Ellen Keane, who was known for her kindness and generous community spirit, owned Hinemoa House, the largest boarding house in Parakai, from 1920 to 1947. He and his siblings spent a lot of time there as children, waiting on tables from the age of nine, and it was at Hinemoa House that Allan met his future wife Cherry Nordstrand.
Leaving school at the age of 13 to do farm work Allan later became a builder. With Cherry he established the first motels in Parakai, a large skating rink, which became a venue for competitive skaters, and a large restaurant, Cherry Grove. Their Hinemoa Travel Hotel was the venue for many conferences.
Allan led a very full life. The father of five children, he made a significant contribution to the Helensville and Parakai communities. After a childhood spent both on and in the water Allan helped set up a surf club at Muriwai in 1947 and was a foundation member of the Muriwai Lifeguard Service. He and Cherry maintained a lifelong interest in boating and fishing. He always loved rugby, playing for Parakai for many years. He was instrumental in the revival of local rugby in the late 1960s and was the driving force behind the creation of Rautawhiri Park. He held office in the Helensville Rugby Club before becoming the first Vice President, later President, of North Harbour Rugby Union, which recognised him in 1994 with a service award.
In other contributions he was the first Chair of Parakai School, which opened in 1958, worked tirelessly on Parakai Progressive Association projects (making footpaths, for example), and was a founding member of the Parakai Licensing Trust. In recognition of his contribution he received a Rodney District Council service award for outstanding service to the community. At the time of his death he was Patron of Helensville District Rugby Football Club, the North Harbour Supporters Club and Rautawhiri Park Trust.
A mentor to many in the district, Allan was a great family man who relished his role as Poppa to his 10 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren. If there is one message Allan would want to convey to this community he so loved it would be “get involved, as your participation really can make a difference.”
Many thanks to Allan’s daughter Dianne McLeod who provided the material for this account.
In our next issue we will profile Stanley John Phillips, who passed away on 7 April, 2016.