While golf wasn't his first choice the significance of the sport isn't lost on Sir Brian Lochore despite some people who castigate it as chasing a white ball which ruins a good day's walk.

"I often say to people that if I hadn't played golf I'd be dead right now because it makes you actually walk 10ks," says Lochore. "I don't know how long I'll be able to go on but I'm really enjoying it."

The 77-year-old All Black legend was in Napier a fortnight ago competing in the annual Hawke's Bay Eagle Society fund-raising tourney for the Halberg Sport Disability Trust.

"What sport can you spend four hours at a place where you've never met people before," says Lochore. "You get to know people really well and that's what I love about the sport and there's a new challenge every day."


He considers himself lucky enough to be an honorary patron of the Bay and Wellington Eagle societies.

"I dearly love this group here and while I have missed the odd year I've been coming here for the past 15 years."

He has a "grand title" of life trustee of the Halberg Trust after having served as a trustee for several years.

"There's quite a few of us who got quite long in the tooth and they gave us a grand title," he says, emphasising it's a fantastic cause to be involved with.

"You only realise how big the Halberg Trust has been for a long time when you come to functions like this where it makes you realise what they do when disabled people turn up to talk," he says after Bay para swimmer Kate McKelvie gave a presentation at the Napier club.

"Halberg Trust have done a magnificent job for disabled youth in New Zealand."

Lochore says while different regions had different ways of helping out he finds it's splendid to visit the Bay to rub shoulders with Bay Eagle Society members and their generous helpers and sponsors who make it a pivotal event.

"They care about what they are doing so that's why they are the Eagles and they have done a great job for the clubs here and are good people."


Lochore, of Masterton, still thoroughly enjoys working on farms.

"I don't own my farm anymore. I just work for my son and son in-law," he says of David Lochore, who has been farming in Porangahau for almost two decades, and son in-law Mark Mossman.

He has two grandsons playing for Napier Boys' High School rugby teams.

"I don't go all over New Zealand and the world to watch rugby any more. I'm like the rest of the people now and watch it on TV," says the ex-ABs captain/coach/selector.