By Helen Martin
Stanley John Phillips. 20 July 1946 - 7 April 2016.
Stanley John Phillips grew up in Helensville and attended the local primary school and college. While he was studying for a Diploma in Agriculture at Massey University he met his future wife Wendy, a teacher trainee. Returning to Helensville at 21 he began managing the 600-acre Wharepapa Rd farm established by his father Stanley in 1929. Wendy began teaching at Kaipara College, where she was to work for some 25 years.
After naming one of his sons Stanley he became known as Stan Snr. As an easily recognisable local identity in his stetson hat and cowboy boots, Stan Snr became known as someone keen to make a big contribution to his community.
He was involved in Kaipara College as a student, parent and grandparent for many years. A Board of Trustees member and, for some time, Chairperson, he was much valued for his role as student advocate on the disciplinary committee and for his advocacy for the school as a whole.
He worked with Federated Farmers and was their representative on the national Walking Access Commission. He was a very active member of the group that saved Helensville Obstetric Hospital and the Rodney Learning Centre., set up for students who didn’t fit in the education system.
One of Stan’s great loves was rugby, which he played while at school and university and later enjoyed as a spectator. A Life Member of the Helensville Rugby Club, his deep commitment included serving as Club Captain, Chairman and President.
His son Stanley Jnr wishes to thank Hibiscus Hospice for the excellent care they gave Stan Snr in his last days, describing the people who work there as ‘unsung heroes’.
Stanley Snr is survived by his wife Wendy, his sons Stanley, Nathan and Campbell and his eight grandchildren.
Many thanks to Stan’s son Stanley Jnr, who was interviewed for this account.