Life member, Brian Crawford, passed away on 26 Jan.

Category: General  |  Date: Wed 27 Jan 2016  |  Author:

In 2010 Hugh Forlong-Ford interviewed Brian for an article in the club's Compass Points magazine. Here is the [edited] article published in the October edition:

At 81, Brian is one of the senior members of the HBOC. In 1979, the third year of the club’s existence, he was the equipment officer on the club’s committee, making the club’s first control standards. A year later, he made the first clippers to replace pens/pencils. He later served as Secretary, Treasurer and Fixtures Officer.

He made major contributions to mapping, doing a lot of fieldwork and drawing maps by hand. His last map was prepared as recently as 2003. He contributed to the purchase of the original caravan, was an NZOF selector and organised the NZOF course-setting competition. He won the M65 title in 1995 Nationals and the M70 in 2001. In 1990, he became the second life member of the club, behind founder George Graham. (He also once drove his wife from one end of Africa to the other.)

He got involved in orienteering in 1978.  The first event he participated in was at Te Mata Peak. Quoting Brian, “In those days the controls were plastic buckets with numbers that you wrote on your clip card; each course would have a specific coloured bucket – red, yellow, green, blue. We soon learnt not to go on the “green” course as it was hard to see the buckets in the trees. I think we only had three courses: short, medium and long. I also remember that the first time I was asked to set a course I didn’t know anything about how to do it, so I put all my controls on top of hills”.

Another story from Brian …

 “We were always looking for new maps and one day, on the way home, I dropped into the Puketapu pub. I described to the locals the type of land we wanted, such as easy running forest, but they all shook their heads sadly.

There was an old bloke in the corner finishing off his drink and, when he walked out past me, he mutters, “What you want is The Promised Land.”

As the door closed behind him I said, “That was a sarcastic old bugger.”

But all the locals said, “No. No. The Promised Land is the area you want. It’s the forest to the right just before you get to Te Pohue.”

As soon as we could I went off with two mates to explore it. We parked the car at the edge of the road and hopped into the forest. It was beautiful, free running country so we took off straight across it and only stopped when we came to a vertical cliff into a river below. We paused, looked at each other and said, “We’ve got no map. How do we get back to the car?”

We did make it out, or I wouldn’t be telling the story. We immediately mapped the area and used the land for many years until it was felled.”