Western Bay business identity Rex Pollock was farewelled with a funeral procession like no other as a line of his heavy haulage gave a send-off fitting for "a true icon of Tauranga".

Rex Pollock
Rex Pollock

The 70-year-old 'legend' of the cranes hireage business and Tauranga speedway died last weekend after a long battle with cancer.

His funeral service was held on Saturday.

Mr Pollock organised his own send-off "just the way he would have wanted it," wife Cheryl Pollock said.

Advertisement

"It took a lot of stress off the family by him having it the way he wanted it," she said.

"It was just a matter of time as to when it was put into practice."

Mr Pollock owned Pollock & Sons Crane Hire and was heavily involved in speedway.

The procession of a heavy haulage truck, seven cranes, and convoy of funeral attendees took an hour to travel from the Pollock's Tauranga home, through the central city to Mount Maunganui and then the ASB Bank Arena where the service was held.

Police stood at Tauranga's intersections to act as pointsmen managing traffic as the convoy travelled through.

Mrs Pollock said this helped keep the procession together.

"The police were awesome and amazing to make it happen like that," she said. "I don't think they would do it for everybody but Rex was special."

In his 58 years of living in Tauranga, Mr Pollock had contributed greatly to local causes and organisations.

Advertisement
As we drove past, people were taking off their hats in respect to him. There were a lot of waves and nods.

Mr Pollock's casket was placed on the back of the company's heavy haulage truck, driven by his son with Mrs Pollock at his side.

"Rex would have been very, very happy," Mrs Pollock said.

"As we drove past, people were taking off their hats in respect to him. There were a lot of waves and nods."

In 1965, just out of a building apprenticeship, Mr Pollock went into partnership with his former foreman Allan Todd.

By the early 1980s Todd & Pollock had grown into one of the most influential transport and crane hire companies in the Bay of Plenty and when Mr Todd retired in 1986 he sold his half-share to Mr Pollock. Pollock & Sons Crane Hire Ltd was born in 2008 under the directorship of one of Mr Pollock's sons.

Mr Pollock continued to coach his children to run the business successfully to "earn their inheritance" and generously shared his business acumen with many others.

Advertisement

Mrs Pollock said a lot of work went into polishing up the truck and cranes and the vehicles looked immaculate on the day.

"That was Rex's thing. He always had a high standard for what he wanted them to look like."

Last week, Tauranga Mayor Stuart Crosby said Mr Pollock would be missed hugely.

"Rex was a true icon of Tauranga," Mr Crosby said.

Mr Pollock is survived by Mrs Pollock, his three children and three step-children and 15 grandchildren, as well as his older brothers Bill and Cecil.