Tararua Tramping Club
Photos Michael Taylor Memories
Photos and words in remembrance of Michael Taylor
Jan Wano. It is wonderful to see all your great photos of Michael. My thanks go to everyone at TTC especially those on his last trip with him for whom it must have been so hard. Thanks also for your support to me before and during Michael's funeral service. There are not adequate words to describe the loss he will be to all of us. Indeed, a tall tree of the forest has gone. Now, forever in our hearts and minds, at one with the Universe. Love, always, Jan
Peter Barber: "If Hugh Barr was the Chief of our Wilkin-Siberia trip this year, then Michael Taylor was a Medicine Man. He was a likeable tramping colleague, displaying unfailing qualities of fitness, courage, independence of spirit, sociability, generosity, and concern for others, and could be counted on for an informed and considered viewpoint on most matters. He is a sore loss to us all, but leaves us with fond memories.
Huge thanks are due to the LandSAR helicopter team for their outstanding work on New Year's Day. They found him, higher up on the northwest-facing slopes of the Mt. Twilight west ridge than I would have believed humanly possible, flew us all back to Top Forks Hut, and returned to retrieve his body and gear.
LandSAR took his earthly remains that day, but we also carried him with us the next day, on the long march back down the Wilkin and over into the Siberia Valley. Up the Siberia, we held services for Michael. At Lake Crucible, Mary Kane lead the proceedings and sang a karakia. We had a minute's silence and then ate the handmade chocolate biscuits that Michael had prepared, one for each member of the group. That evening, amid the hubub of dinner in Siberia Hut, people at our table listened intently while Hugh spoke, after which we shared the pineapple that Michael had brought in.
Thank you Michael, for everything. Thank you Hugh, it was a great tramp."
Tributes to Michael Taylor
Comments made in response to news of Michaelís death on Mt Twilight, Wilkin Valley, Mt Aspiring National Park, New Yearís Eve, 2011 - please add your comments
So sorry to hear about Michael Taylor, my condolences to fellow trampers, family, and friends.
Hear hear a great man - his skills and approach to life will be missed.
Indeed we'll miss him.
It is an absolute tragedy. Very very sad. Michael will undoubtedly leave a huge hole in the club. He did so much, and over so many years. He was also a regular attendee at Council meetings and made many often very detailed submissions on both his own and occasionally the clubís behalf. Iíll miss him being there too.
How sad. Although I have not been active in the TTC for many years now I knew Mike well. He was so great and friendly to all the newbies! My thoughts are with his family.
We are still reeling from the tragedy but celebrated him at Lake Crucible where we ate the chocolates he had so carefully made and individually wrapped for us for New Year's Eve celebrations.
Very sorry to hear the news of Michael's passing. He made a huge contribution to the club.
A real tragedy! My sympathy to all his friends and family - I understand few relations in NZ. I hope there will be something special from TTC. I would like to contribute. Enjoyed many trips and conversations with Michael. His submissions to Greater Wellington Regional Council were the best. His sharp analytical mind was invaluable. Will miss him.
He was a good man
I had seen the news about Michael in the DomPost. I found it shocking and extraordinary.
I am a long time ago Tararua Tramping Club member and spent many trips with Michael back in the late 80's, so I was shocked to hear about his death. Michael was certainly a well respected tramping trip member and was never young and foolhardy as I was back in the 80's. I guess it will be a major shock to everyone in the Tararua Club and Wellington
It is a terrible loss. Michaelís been such a huge part of the Club for so long. In the last year or two in particular heís also been a very diligent attendee and submitter at Council meetings, and it was good to be able to catch up there too. He will be very much missed.
A shocking tragedy
It was very sad news to hear as we were about to come down from the Ruahine tops last week. I hope the TTC can play a part in Michaelís funeral, and celebrate his companionship.
Thank you for passing on the news, which is really devastating. As you know I have known Michael since I joined the club more than twenty years ago and I always had great regard for him as a person as well as a tramper and I always looked forward to his trips or just to meet him again.
I have a memory of a fantastic, very challenging Christmas trip, Michael and myself. Sugarloaf Pass, Rock Burn, Park Pass, Hidden Falls Creek, Cow Saddle, Olivine River, Fohn Saddle, Beans Burn, over the ridge to Bride Burn, Dart River, Cascade Saddle (Michael climbed Mt Tyndall, I didn't) Snowy Creek head water traverse, down the Rees, climbed Earnslaw and out. As well as many other trips with cheesecakes and great tramping. I was very much saddened to hear of his passing. He will be missed!
I have just arrived back from an 8 day tramp up the Styx-Browning-Popes, Julia-Dunns-Newton Arahura, and I was shocked to find Mike Taylor had died. Although I haven't done that much with the TTC since moving to Dunedin 6 yrs ago, I had been on many trips with Mike, and know him as a quiet and kind person, who enjoyed going off on solo trips as well as tramping with others, I also remember being teamed up with him on a sea kayak trip round the Abel Tasman some 10 years ago, and another is a memory of a winter trip to the Kawekas about the same year, stopping for lunch in the freezing cold at a hut nicknamed 'Kelvinator Lodge' as it was known to be cold! But in winter it was actually warmer in the hut than outside. As we were a large party we had difficulty fitting in the hut, when we lit up our stoves for a brew, I remember popping out to give room for Michael who was standing outside with very blue goose pimpled legs, and offered him space inside but he declined, and said he was fine - although he liked the outdoors, I strongly suspect he wanted to make sure the rest of us were able to have some shelter, putting our needs ahead of his. He also produced some very fine cuisine on trips and photo footage and had a very sharp mind. I have also been up Twilight twice, and it is pretty steep.
The photo page is wonderful. I didnít know Michael personally but I saw him as a person who lived by his principles and would never knowingly harm the environment, and the stories about the pineapples, cheesecakes etc were wonderful. His love of nature is clear in the photos from Waterfall Flat. Thank you for keeping us informed.
I was most grateful to have Michael on a Lodge trip in February 2007 as he happily took up the rear, assisting the tail enders, who in some places were somewhat challenged.
Stuart Hutson, I met Michael while I was doing a solo tramp in the Tararuas, he appeared with 5 others from TTC, at Cone hut. The next day we happened to be going the same way, up to Alpha via Bull Mound. It was a screaming hot day and as we got higher our water was drunk and our thirst was great. At a rest spot Michael produced a pineapple, pealed it and handed everyone a piece. Everyone was thankful for Michael's consideration in bringing the pineapple and I spent a wonderful day with Michael on the tops.
Liz Paton, I was on the above trip with Michael - and many other very memorable trips ... The pineapple delight was one of many moments of sheer joy Michael created. I think this was due to his thoughtfulness and generosity of spirit ... I will miss him on his bike, in the hills and of course in the hut - brewing up some absolute delight of a desert to raise the collective and individual spirit high...
I never got to go on a tramping trip with Michael but often found myself alongside him at intersections while cycling the streets of Wellington. I'll remember Michael for the spirited and principled stands he took at club meetings.
I was saddened to hear the news about Michael. I have great memories of many trips we did together in the early 1980s. He was an excellent companion on a trip, and I enjoyed his company. Norman Hawcroft.
We regret we cannot attend Michael's funeral. We have many happy memories of trips with Michael in NZ and Nepal. He was always a very interesting and stimulating companion. He always gave time to those having trouble keeping up. Ken & Julia Fraser
Paul Bruce I got to know Michael over a few longer tramps. His caring thoughtful nature stood out, along with his intense interest in photography and life around him.
However, it was a total mystery to me, how he managed to extract large surprises, such as cheese cake, from his smallish looking pack, at the appropriate moment.
After my election to the Regional Council, I discovered that Michael not only lived a low carbon but adventurous life style. But Michael was also committed to working for change at the local government level, and applied his analytical abilities to writing submissions on relevant topics.
His submissions were impressive for their careful insight.
So much so, that Councillor Paul Swain, said to me after a round of submissions: "Who's this fellow? is he a friend of yours? " That was a strong compliment for Michael and I wondered if Paul Swain was going to head hunt him for another job.
I particularly remember Michael's lengthy submission on the Regional Policy Statement. Greater Wellington took note of many of his points on behalf of Tararua Tramping Club, and I think we all should be proud of the fine document that resulted.
I cycled out with Michael to Baring Head to get a few photos last year, and that remains a special memory for me. Michael maintained that the protection and restoration of the natural environment, should be considered as the most fundamental part of sustainability. I agree with him. We will miss him.
Kua hinga te totora o te Wao-nui-a-Tane
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