Flags outside Bay of Plenty Regional Council are flying at half-mast to honour the late Arch Delahunty.
Arch, a Whakatāne-based works engineer for the council, died on Wednesday, July 5 when the car he was driving was hit by a train at Ōtamarākau, near Matatā. He had been with the former Bay of Plenty Catchment Commission back in the 1970s and returned to the regional council 12 years ago.
“Arch was a well-loved and dedicated member of staff,” regional council chair Doug Leeder says.
“We are deeply saddened to hear of his passing and our hearts go out to his family and friends.”
“His engineering work was an integral part of who Arch was,” rivers and drainage manager Bruce Crabbe says.
“Arch was a humble man with many talents (squash being a questionable one) and a wicked sense of humour. It’s unfair when the good ones go before they should.”
Regional council chief executive Mary-Anne Macleod says Arch’s colleagues and friends within the organisation are struggling to come to terms with the news.
“Arch was part of our extended whanau. His strong connections with people go right through our organisation, so we ask for understanding at this tragically unexpected time.”
Kua hinga he tōtara nui
Ngāueue ana te whēnua
Makere mai ana ngā roimata
Kua mokemoke ngā hoa mahi
A great totara has fallen
And it has reverberated across the land
Tears have fallen
And colleagues are forlorn
A farewell for Arch will be held at 11am on Monday, July 10 at the Whakatāne Baptist Church on Keepa Rd.