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Rex Forrester Has Died.


Rex Forrester

Rex was a much respected outdoorsman having spent most of his life in the hunting and fishing world.
As a young Government Deer culler Rex developed his passion for the outdoors and went on to develop one of the first guiding business targeting overseas hunters and anglers. He then went to work for the New Zealand Tourist Board and was responsible for promoting and developing the fledgling guiding industry.
One of his first of many books "Hunter for hire" (Forrester & Illingworth 1965) was the inspiration for many young men to seek a living as a guide. The result of which is the huge guiding industry we have today.
Hunting the Arahura headwaters. 1946 Rex was a born adventurer and his contagious enthusiasm endeared him to many people allowing him to get involved right at the beginning. He participated at the height of the Deer Culling era and followed that up by his involvement and recording the history of the Helicopter hunting era which followed immediately after.
Everyone who knew Rex was drawn to his engaging personality and many of his friends will have been witness one of his many practical jokes.

He will also be remembered by thousands of people for his numerous books on hunting and fishing, many of which are still available in stores around the country. His two books on the Helicopter venison recovery industry are still sought after and have become outdoors classics.

Rex was also one of the driving forces behind the Deer Cullers Assn. and the Deer Cullers Museum trust. He was also Patron or life member of many clubs and organisations.

After a memorial service at the Rotorua racecourse attended by a huge crowd, Rexs coffin was strapped into the back a black Hughes 500 helicopter and flown around Rotorua City and the lake he loved for so long. The huge crowd stood in silence as teh helicopter returned at speed in front of the crowd then pulling the stick skywards the chopper did a complete loop the loop and then proceeded towards to the Crematorium. The final practical joke of dropping a long carton from the chopper as it looped the loop was called off at the last minute as some thought better of it. Rex would have enjoyed such a stunt but then his final Loop the loop was pretty awesome and was a fitting farewelll for one of New Zealands great characters.
I know hundreds of people around the world who came into contact with Rex or even were guided by him in those early years will be saddened by his passing.

Alan Simmons.