Whanganui man Allan Anderson was one of a kind - unstoppable and indefatigable, according to a fellow Bushy Park Trust board member.
"He was just one of those people that stops at nothing to achieve what he sees as being a big benefit for the people of Whanganui and for the flora and fauna at Bushy Park," Rosemary Rippon said.
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Allan was big in the Anglican Church, in Tarapuruhi Bushy Park Sanctuary, in Whanganui District Health Board and in Whanganui District Council.
He was big in farming, too. For 30 years he was a partner in a well-known Romney stud and he aspired to be New Zealand's Agriculture Minister.
Friend and neighbour Rick Brown said Allan was a tireless worker, both on his farm and at the forest sanctuary.
"It was non-stop action from Allan. He was never still."
It was Allan who saw the need for a predator fence for Bushy Park, and he raised the $1 million to build it. Then he found money and support to move three endangered bird species inside.
"Without his input there wouldn't be a sanctuary. That's his legacy," Brown said.
Allan joined Forest and Bird as a schoolboy and Brown watched him stop work and marvel at hihi and tieke in the forest.
His connection to the sanctuary was very personal, manager Mandy Brooke said. He built paths and signs as well as raising money and netting tieke on Rotorua's Mokoia Island.
Allan was gentle, considerate, caring and "absolutely amazing" with their children and grandchildren, his wife Rosemary said. He didn't smoke or drink and barely used a swear word - though his directness caused reactions in some.
On Whanganui District Health Board he would ferociously defend his principles, former chairwoman Kate Joblin said. During rough times, she could rely on his unswerving support.
On Whanganui District Council Allan made a huge contribution on rural matters, councillor Rob Vinsen said. He was outspoken, but courteous and reasonable - and it's largely due to him that each meeting still begins with a prayer.
Allan was born into an Eltham dairy farming family, the second of four children. When he was 10, the family moved to Brunswick and he went to Brunswick School and Wanganui Technical College.
After school he went shearing and in 1961, at the age of 20, he and Bob Marshall bought a rundown Waitotara Valley farm from Marshall's family. They continued shearing and cleared scrub from the farm, sleeping in tents.
Allan entered competitions and was the Skellerup Young Farmer of the Year in 1970.
After about seven years' work the two had a functioning backcountry farm, then a well known Romney stud.
Meanwhile, Allan had met a young English immigrant, Rosemary Herd, at church. When the two married he brought her to the farm to live, across a swingbridge missing three planks. They fixed up the old homestead which became "a lovely home" for them and their two children.
In 1986 Allan was named the National Party's candidate for the Wanganui electorate. He stood for Parliament, but Labour incumbent Russell Marshall beat him by just 23 votes.
In 1993 the farm was split and the partnership dissolved and in 2003, after the Andersons had sold their piece, they moved to a farmlet in Brunswick.
Allan had meanwhile become the chairman of the Bushy Park Trust, and he decided the forest needed a predator-proof fence, raised the money for it and actively participated in moving toutouwai, tieke and hihi to the safe space within.
Being closer to Whanganui, he turned his attention to local government. He was a member of Whanganui District Health Board from 2007-2016.
He was also very active in the Anglican Church, where Rosemary was a minister. He was made a Justice of the Peace.
In 2008 he became a Whanganui councillor, which he loved. And in 2009 he was awarded a Queen's Service Medal for services to conservation and the community.
In 2010 Allan was diagnosed with bladder cancer. He underwent a major operation, which was successful. Until recently, he was still checking on hihi at the forest sanctuary, Brooke said.
About three months ago he had a heart attack and was treated in Wellington Hospital. The treatment was only partially effective, and he died in Whanganui Hospital from a slowly developing pneumonia.