In the midst of grieving for the man she loved, Hinemoa Ransom-Boyd is counting her blessings for the 27 years she spent with Ed Boyd.

Ed died on September 10 leaving her with their H & A Print business, a unique vintage car and memorabilia collection, his children and grandchildren to love and a lasting legacy of goodwill in the Whanganui Community.

"One of the things that always amazed me about Ed was that he had the energy to be pulled in all directions and still be okay," she said.

During the past couple of years, Ed had been feeling tired and losing weight and it was only two weeks ago that he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease.

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On their first date, in the mid-1990s, Ed told Hinemoa that he had two children living with their mother in Bulls and that they spent weekends and holidays with him.

"Although it was a lot to take in on a first date it was typical of Ed, to be so honest and upfront."

It was one of the many things she came to love about him along with his daughter Natasha, son Kieran and later his grandchildren Jason, Siobahn and Joss.

She also came to love being part of the business Ed had bought shares in as a 22-year-old, leaving her job at UCOL Whanganui to become his fulltime business partner.

Hinemoa and Ed Boyd outside their H & A Print premises in Purnell St in 2015. Photo / Paul Brooks
Hinemoa and Ed Boyd outside their H & A Print premises in Purnell St in 2015. Photo / Paul Brooks

During the early years of their relationship, Hinemoa moved to Canada for a work exchange programme.

"Ed visited me several times during the year I was there and he loved Canada more than I did.

"I loved it too but my Māori blood didn't like the cold and snow."

Ed was a Rotarian with the Rotary Club of Wanganui for more than 30 years, a life and committee member of the Wanganui Boy's and Girl's Gym Club, trustee of the Waimarie River Boat, Wanganui Antiquities and the Wanganui Branch Manchester Lodge.

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And in 2013, Ed was appointed a Justice of the Peace for New Zealand

But his first love, next to his family, was the Vintage Car Club (VCC) of Whanganui and his collection of beautiful cars.

For five years, he was chairman of the Whanganui VCC organising new spare parts shed and initiating a revenue-generating scrap metal collection scheme.

And in 2012, Ed was the catalyst for bringing the VCC Rally to Whanganui which also laid the foundation for Whanganui Vintage Weekend.

Hinemoa said Ed especially loved his burgundy Jaguar and she was worried sick when he managed to drive it the day before he died.

While Hinemoa was in the kitchen, Ed managed to walk down the stairs, past two friends who were moving cars around outside and drive away.

She was greatly relieved when he returned and could not believe he had managed to drive.

"He could barely speak but I saw that he had $50 petrol vouchers sticking out of his pocket and he managed to say 'Splash Centre'.

"Ed liked to give people petrol vouchers and people had been helping us out a lot so he'd gone to the BP station opposite the Splash Centre to buy the vouchers."

More than 1000 people attended Ed Boyd's funeral in Whanganui on September 16 and the tributes flowed but the last words here come from the man himself.

The following is an excerpt from a guest editorial Ed Boyd wrote for the Midweek.

"Wanganui has always been a great place to live. It has a good, sometimes slightly windy climate, but it has lots of great people and more things to do than lots of other places in New Zealand.

"I have been privileged to have seen a lot of our city grow, for example, Kowhai Play Park, and being a kid when the Tot Town Railway was started and being on one of the first rides on opening day, seeing the Old Town Bridge close and going over the new one on its first open day.

"The Whanganui River has great interest from the mountain start all the way down to the sea. The river road is as great to travel along and we have some of the most wonderful sights in the world in this area."