Soldier, shearer, environmentalist, educator — the late Fred Peyton packed a lot into his life and the recognition will continue beyond his death this month.
Mr Peyton won a community service award, part of the Central Otago Awards, in 2010, and will be honoured later this year with a memorial by Wastebusters Alexandra, which he helped found in 2000.
His widow, Marion Peyton, said she first met Fred when he worked as a shearer for her father in their home town of Feilding when she was 13.
‘‘Many years later, we both found ourselves on our own and Fred came home to Feilding. Our paths crossed and it seemed a natural progression for us to get together.’’
The couple moved to Central Otago and in about 1988, bought a paddock which they planted with fruit trees, vegetables, berries and flowers and named Peyton’s Patch.
An avid recycler and composter, Mr Peyton taught schoolchildren and adults about recycling, composting and worm farming, both in workshops at the couple’s market garden and at A&P shows and other venues.
He was a working member of the committee from which Wastebusters Alexandra was formed, and became one of the original board members.
Even when he stepped down from the board, Mr Peyton continued to work for the community recycler, volunteering weekly until the last Covid-19 lockdown last year.
‘‘He poured his heart and soul into it,’’ Wastebusters site manager Kate Brooke said .
Mrs Peyton said her husband had served in Korea with the Australian Army (he happened to be in Australia when war broke out) and also spent time as a drover in the Australian outback.
He worked as a shearer in Central Otago before setting up his own shearing business.
A keen golfer, Mr Peyton held various committee positions at the Alexandra Golf Club over the years, including two years as president.
‘‘Fred worked tirelessly on the course,’’ club manager Dai Johns said.
‘‘He was here all the time doing volunteer work and was a valued life member.’’
Mr Peyton also belonged to Masonic Lodge Manuherikia No 109, where he was master of the lodge from 1994 to 1995, and played the organ for lodge ceremonies and at other events.
He was a founder of the Alexandra Electronic Organ Club in the early 1980s, and also served in the roles of president, secretary and treasurer.
Mr Peyton’s presence will be missed by the many community groups he was involved with, but Mrs Peyton said his was a life well-lived.
‘‘At 92, he had had a very interesting, productive and adventurous life,’’ she said.
- Wastebusters Alexandra is hoping to involve as many founding members as possible in Mr Peyton’s memorial and asks that readers contact them with any relevant information.