28 October 1922 – 8 August 2021
A founding member of the Warkworth Lions Club, stalwart of the Warkworth Athletic Club, founding member of the Kowhai Festival Committee, Boys Brigade leader and member of the Sandspit Yacht Club was farewelled at a celebration of his life in the Warkworth Town Hall on
More than 250 people attended the service for Cyril Bogue, who died at home in Sandspit on August 8, aged 98.
Cyril was born in Thames and lived with his grandparents during his early years. He returned to his parents at age nine but was made unwelcome by his mother. He got on better with his father, who returned home every second weekend from working on coastal freighters.
When Cyril turned 15, his mother instructed him to leave school and take up a job making butter boxes. Undeterred, Cyril enrolled in night school and took up a cabinet-making apprenticeship. Meanwhile, abuse continued at home and Cyril left. In later years he would recall those times asking, “How could a mother treat her own child in such a way?”
During World War II, Cyril hoped to join the Air Force but failed a medical exam. Instead, he built anti-aircraft gun emplacements and ammunition dumps in Auckland and other military installations on Great Barrier Island. Years later, Cyril often returned to Great Barrier on fishing trips, visiting the remains of bunkers he had constructed.
After the war, Cyril had a milk round in Freemans Bay and rekindled an interest in running. He joined the Technical Harriers and Athletic Club and represented Auckland at national level. Legendary coach Arthur Lydiard was among those he competed against. Arthur believed Cyril’s milk round greatly contributed to his fitness and recommended a milk run to those he coached.
Cyril married wife Audrey in 1951 and set up a gardening shop in Mt Roskill, adopting the name Will Growell, of the Forget-Me-Not Plant and Seeds Shop. The venture came to an end when Audrey, who was six months pregnant, was jokingly referred to by the local butcher as Mrs Growell. Audrey was not amused, urging Cyril to drop the name and hastening the sale of the business.
The family moved to Snells Beach in 1960 and Cyril took up various jobs before setting up as a builder, laying the groundwork for his later venture into real estate.
He registered his four sons with the Warkworth Athletic Club and served as its president for seven years. Other community activities included opposing a Rodney County Council cost-cutting plan to pump wastewater off Snells Beach. Cyril and a friend went out in a boat and poured dye in the water to demonstrate the adverse effects on Kawau Bay and the dye subsequently showed up on the shoreline. The evidence helped persuade Council chair Gordon Mason, later Sir Gordon, to redirect the wastewater into deeper waters with stronger tidal flows.
Eventually, Cyril found building too hard on his joints and opened his own real estate office in Warkworth. He was ultimately joined in the business by his sons Ken and Trevor. The business expanded to six offices and then nine as part of the Ray White Group.
In 1989, Cyril and Audrey moved to Sandspit to live closer to Ken and help him with his solo parenting duties. Cyril continued working until the age of 81 when he retired to look after his wife, whose health was failing.
Cyril’s son Ken said he enjoyed a wonderful relationship with his father and, in particular, a shared love of boats, whisky and athletics. He recalls their visits to Mt Smart and watching the one mile and 1500 metre battles between John Walker, Rod Dixon and Dick Quax.
“Cyril was a people person and seemed to make time for anyone,” Ken said.
Cyril is survived by his four children, 14 grandchildren, 26 great grandchildren and one great, great grandchild.