Hubbard generosity recalled at service

Jean Hubbard releases a dove in memory of her late husband, Allan Hubbard, who died in a car...
Jean Hubbard releases a dove in memory of her late husband, Allan Hubbard, who died in a car crash in September, at the memorial service for him, held at the Caroline Bay Soundshell, Timaru, yesterday. Photo: SNPA
The generous and humble nature that Allan Hubbard showed many people throughout his life was remembered at a memorial service in Timaru yesterday afternoon.

Hundreds showed up to the service to pay their respects to the South Canterbury businessman who died, aged 83, last month after the car he and his wife Jean were were travelling in collided with another vehicle north of Oamaru.

His death came just a month before he was due to appear in court on 50 fraud charges relating to the way he ran his business, South Canterbury Finance, which was placed into receivership last August.

The memorial service, at the Caroline Bay Soundshell, and officiated by Timaru Mayor Janie Annear, included speakers from family, friends and colleagues and musical tributes by the Craighead Chorale and baritone David McAtamney.

The soundshell stage was decorated with flowers and shrubs, a painting of Mr Hubbard and scouting flags.

Mr Hubbard's mustard-coloured 1971 Volkswagen Beetle - which became a symbol of Mr Hubbard's humble lifestyle - was parked near the stage with a black ribbon around it and a single rose on the roof.

Jean Hubbard (82) released a white dove and was given a standing ovation by those attending the service.

She recently said she was doing "as well as can be expected".

The devotion and appreciation Mr Hubbard had for his wife was made clear in many of the speeches, including one by the couple's eldest daughter, Lesley Limbe.

"Dad was very untidy ... He needed a constant helper at all times," Mrs Limbe said.

"Mum worked quietly in the background and did everything he wanted," she said.

While mention about the political and legal battle Mr Hubbard was facing at the time of his death was kept to a minimum, Mrs Limbe did refer to it, calling it a "storm" and saying it was a shame he could not have "navigated his way out of it".

After seeing the EC130 B4 helicopter, piloted by Mr Hubbard's long-time friend, Jim Wilson, fly over, Mrs Limbe said it was a fitting reminder of her father's last minutes alive.

Examples of the large amounts of money Mr Hubbard gave to charities over the years were referred to by all seven speakers.

Presbyterian Support South Canterbury chief executive Michael Parker was stopped by applause partway through his speech after referring to Mr Hubbard as one of New Zealand's top philanthropists.

Former Hubbard and Churcher colleague Duncan Brand said that those who knew Mr Hubbard knew that his "credits would outweigh his debits" of his 83 years of life.

Mr Brand spoke about the strong work ethic Mr Hubbard had and how much he loved his work, often in the office by 7am and last to leave at night.

"Work was not a chore for Allan," he said.

- Claire Emmerson


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