Te Araroa News

Te Araroa mourns Sir Wilson Whineray - 23 October 2012

Te Araroa Trust recognises the passing of Sir Wilson Whineray, who died on Monday in Auckland, aged 77.

Sir Wilson was the Patron of Te Araroa - having held the role jointly since inception with Sir Edmund Hillary, then assumed it alone when Sir Edmund passed on in 2008. Sir Wilson was present when the first Te Araroa track was opened - between Kerikeri and Waitangi in February 1995.

Sir Wilson was 21 when he made his All Blacks test debut in May 1957 against Australia in Sydney.

He was quickly elevated to the All Blacks captaincy for the 1958 Series against Australia. He was just 23 and, for a long time, he was the youngest All Blacks captain.

Sir Wilson played 77 times for the All Blacks, including 32 tests, and he captained the side 67 times - a massive number of appearances considering the All Blacks played only two or three test matches a year.

His colossal career included being named New Zealand sportsman of the year in 1965.

The following year he won a Harkness Scholarship to Harvard University where he studied for an MBA in 1967 and 1968.

He received his knighthood in 1998 when he was made a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to sport and business.

In the early 1990s he was appointed the Colonel-Commandant of the New Zealand SAS Regiment - a position he held for five years, and one of which he was very proud.

Te Araroa Trust extends its sympathies to Lady Elisabeth and all of Sir Wilson's family and friends.

(Additional text care of NZ Herald)