Tuesday afternoon Mauri's time
OBITUARY: Maurice James Quin, 4 June 1932 – 21 January 2014
On Tuesday Maurie Quin, artist, sculptor, activist, socialist, builder, gardener, historian, archivist, restorer, beach bum, sailor, car enthusiast, photographer, and beloved partner of Jane Maurice, was farewelled at the Mangawhai Village Hall.
In his younger years he was described as a ‘dangerous man’ with a huge lust for life (as well as women). That changed when he met and wooed Jane, who was working for a jeweler in Parnell at the time.
Maurie and Jane moved from the Coromandel to Kaiwaka in 1987 and later to Mangawhai. They decided to stay in the area because the quality of the community and its people made Mangawhai a vibrant place to live.
Maurie was very talented artistically and after finishing school attended Elim School of Fine Arts for a time. He then honed his creative skills across a wide range of artistic endeavours including building film sets and restoring the Gables restaurant in Russell, to producing a wide range of sculptures from exquisite bronzes to fibreglass commercial pieces. Some of his sculptures were featured in the film Heavenly Creatures.
Maurie was a scholarly and progressive thinker who believed in social justice. He had strong opinions and acted on them. This included raising $3,000 for Vietnam in late 1960s (the price of a house in those days) with the help of a variety of bands, poets, writers and politicians. The funds raised were used to buy an ambulance and build the Sir Walter Nash orphanage in Saigon with the remainder going towards medical aid.
At the age of 15, Maurie’s mother confided in him that he was part Maori – something that was supposed to be kept secret from his father. Maurie’s maternal grandfather was of Ngati Raukawa descent and spoke fluent Te Reo. Maurie was proud of his Maori heritage and meticulously researched and documented his whakapapa over many years into eight handwritten volumes.
Maurie had an enormous appreciation of the natural world and in particular of landscapes. He loved to drive up no exit roads just to admire the scenery.
He had a vast and eclectic circle of friends and associates, many who attended his funeral and described hilarious escapades of adventure and misadventure.
As was said at the funeral, Maurie blazed through life, gobbling it up in great bites. He was knowledgeable, wise, compassionate, kind, and a good listener. He could also be bloody-minded, stubborn and had a volcanic temper. There’s no doubt he was always true to himself.
Maurie often said that “Tuesday afternoon was a cosmic time of day” which turned out to be true when he suffered a stroke one Tuesday afternoon in early 2008 and had to go into care. There too he caused a stir with his direct manner and the odd expletive, eventually finding his way to Ranburn Resthome in Waipu. Jane and their trusty dog Tahi visited him 3-4 times a week until Maurie passed on one stormy Tuesday afternoon six years later.
Maurie’s son, Peter, described his father in his last years as “a man who always knew who he was and what he was about, and who found peace at the end of an epic journey.”
- Julia West