The first time I went out tramping with Jack and Dad was up to Mt Herbert via the Packhorse Hut from Gebbies Pass. I was only about 13 at the time and it was quite an effort. Then followed trips up Mts Torlesse, Cloudsley, Enys, and Hutt with Jack and several of Dads other workmates and WW2 friends. Over the years since that time Jack and Jean were always a constant presence in my life. Over the years he and Jean completed a longitudinal traverse of the South Island and I well remember how he and Jean, when they stayed at our holiday house at Pukawa for about a week climbed nearly every peak in the area or on the horizon with their son Allan. Jean was his greatest supporter.
The first Canterbury earthquake was traumatic for them - they were shaken out of bed to find the kitchen totally awash with Jeans preserves but the house that Jack built himself up above the Halswell Quarry withstood the shake. Jack died a few years ago. He certainly left this world a better place for his having been here. John, my brother agrees wholeheartedly, Jack was one of our heroes.
|JackR (left) with me, my Dad and Kelvin Lewis on top Torlesse c. 1953|