A giant Totara has fallen. The body of my old friend Les Wright was found a few hours ago in the forests he loved. Aged 63, Les and I worked together in DoC in Hokitika where he was an historian and writer. Les knew the forests of New Zealand's better than most and wrote many books on bush, gold mining, coal mining, forestry and regional history. Tane Mahuta, the God of the forests has taken Les to do a more important job to help him be a guardian. R.I.P Les Wright and thanks for the literary treasures you left us.
Nga mate, nga aitua o koutou ara o matou
Ka tangihia e tatou i tenei wa
Haere, haere, haere
My thoughts go out to you Deborah for you have lost your dearest and nearest. I grieve with you. Kia Kaha!
Les moved to the West Coast in 1973 as a radio journalist and in the last 25 years, earned a reputation as a historian and author, and has penned several books, including Waiuta and latterly Brighton. I have scattered some of his book covers throughout this posting. For a number of years he owned and published a free newspaper called West of the Alps and did so much to promote tourism and conservation.
Here is the latest new on Les.
Searchers have discovered the body of 63-year-old Leslie Wright, who went missing in the King Country on Monday. Wright's body was located in bush about 5km from where his car had been found, Sergeant Phil Bell of the Waikato Search and Rescue Squad said. "It is anticipated that it will take about two hours to recover Mr Wright's body from where he was found," he said.