Mangaweka mourns loved pub owner

By Lin Ferguson -
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Lyn Watson with George and the bed she won in a raffle.PHOTO/LIN FERGUSON
Lyn Watson with George and the bed she won in a raffle.PHOTO/LIN FERGUSON

Mangaweka is holding a special memorial service next Wednesday to farewell a much-loved resident.

Former Bay of Plenty woman Lyn Watson, 66, was the owner of the Langholm Hotel in Mangaweka and had lived there for seven years.

She died suddenly last Thursday.

Irene Loder, a stalwart of the Mangaweka community, said people were all very sad about Lyn's death.

"She was found when someone realised the pub was still closed late morning and there was no sign of Lyn."

Irene described her friend as the kindest person who always helped and volunteered for community events and everyone loved her.

"It's very sad to see the hotel closed and no sign of life.

"I really miss Lyn. She always came across the road with her small dog, George, to visit.

She never came empty-handed; she always arrived with lovely fresh baking. If she brought scones straight from the oven she brought the jam and cream to go on them as well.

"We had many lovely morning teas together."

Lyn's family in Tauranga had taken her back to the city and her funeral would held there this week, Irene said.

A memorial service for Lyn will be held in St Patrick's Catholic Church in Mangaweka at 11am next Wednesday.

"People need to check, because the time could still change," Irene said.

A local man has said he will give George, a Jack Russell terrier, a home.

"He's a lovely man and he loves little George.

"Everyone loved George and he'll just love running about on a rural property," said Irene.

In a Chronicle story last year Lyn told how she had been pushed by family to buy a ticket in a raffle.

To her utter amazement she won, acquiring an enormous 300-year-old Dutch bed worth $15,000 made from walnut and rosewood with a brand-new mattress and base.

Her family had insisted she put it up in the hotel.

But the only place it would fit was in the hotel dining room, Irene said.

"So she cleaned out the tables and chairs and brought the bed in through the double doors at the front of the hotel," Irene said.

But she refused to sleep in it because it faced a window and people could see in.
Ever since the bed went into the hotel passers-by had been fascinated, Irene said.

"People had suggested it become a honeymoon suite but Lyn didn't think Mangaweka really needed one of those."

Lyn was a one-woman-band in the hotel and town, serving behind the bar, doing all the cooking and regularly helping out with all community events.

She told the Chronicle in the interview last year that it was a good life in the town and Mangaweka was unique.

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