Truckers to pay tribute to their mate

By Victoria White -
Gary Beswick died when his boat overturned 5km north of Waipatiki Beach. Photo / Duncan Brown
Gary Beswick died when his boat overturned 5km north of Waipatiki Beach. Photo / Duncan Brown

A sense of quiet will descend on Hawke's Bay roads on Saturday as the region's logging truck drivers take time to pay tribute to one of their own.

Gary Beswick died last weekend, drowning after his boat overturned when he was out crayfishing.

Napier man Gary Beswick, 65, who died on Saturday was an avid fisherman.
Napier man Gary Beswick, 65, who died on Saturday was an avid fisherman.

His body was recovered from rocks near Waipatiki Beach by emergency services, following a search that was sparked when the two men failed to return home.

The man Mr Beswick had been with was found on the beach, suffering from hypothermia.

One week to the day, many of his fellow trucking contractors will pay their respects - first at his funeral and then with a drive-by past his Bay View home.

Although his family said Mr Beswick would be "totally embarrassed" by his colleagues' tribute, the drive-by was "people paying him back".

The 65-year-old was always giving a hand to those who needed it - even if they didn't ask.

Yesterday his family and friends gathered to remember the "kind, caring bloke" who had a wicked sense of humour, was never on time, and had the ability to give everyone a nickname. This extended to those he had met once, to his two sons, three step-children, six grandchildren, and two great grandchildren.

His partner Donna Evans, who had been with Mr Beswick for 21 years, was known as Rosie.

She said he was good at everything he turned his hand to. He had loved his fishing, and his watersports which included barefoot skiing, and when he was younger, surfing and yachting.

"There was nothing he hadn't done", she said.

As well as his love of the water, and spending time with his family, Mr Beswick also enjoyed working hard.

The 65-year-old had worked as a trucking contractor for Pan Pac Forestry products and DG Glenn logging for about 17 years.

His family said the owner operator had been the first to set up the self-loading logging system which was now used throughout the company.

Mr Beswick was such a hard worker, that even though he liked rugby, he was rarely able to make it halfway through watching a game before falling asleep.

His best friend, Neil Robertson, had known the 65-year-old his entire life since they met at kindergarten.

"If he had a truck and you wanted it, he would just give it to you," Mr Robertson said, "that was the type of man he always was."

This generosity continued throughout Mr Beswick's life.

"He could always see something good in someone," Mr Robertson said.

"If someone was speaking badly about someone he would step in, it didn't matter who or what you were.

"He looked for the special bit in people, or he could just see it more than others."

In a seemingly cruel twist of fate, Mr Beswick and Mr Robertson saved four men whose boat overturned in Hawke Bay in 2003. Resuce boats and helicopters had not been able to find the men - they were only located after Mr Beswick heard their cries for help.

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