I guess there are quite a few places around good old NZ that can lay a claim to fame of some of the locals, and Franklin is no exception.
For instance, we have our own (the late) Possum Bourne, rally driver extraordinaire, who lived and went to school locally and became extremely well known world wide in the rally driving industry, particularly. Possum came 1st over a number of years of Rally car racing in the New Zealand, Asia-Pacific and Australian Champs
Sir Edmund Hillary is another that we like to claim as our own.Born 20th July 1919, he moved to moved to Tuakau with his family in 1920, after his father was allocated land there. The young Ed went to Tuakau Primary school, before moving on to Auckland Grammar. Hillary was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century.
Douglas Wright was also born in the Tuakau region, in 1956. “Douglas danced with Limbs Dance Company of New Zealand (1980-1983), the Paul Taylor Company of New York (1983-87) and DV8 Physical Theatre of London (1988) before forming the Douglas Wright Dance Company in Auckland in 1989.
Over his 25-year career Douglas Wright has created more than 30 works including Knee Dance, Faun Variations, Hey Paris, How on Earth, Gloria, Elegy, Forever, Buried Venus, halo, Arc, Inland and Black Milk. When Forever had its European premiere in Switzerland, it was hailed as “an overwhelming contemporary contribution to the history of our life and times”.
I was recently speaking with someone I know, who went to school with Douglas and ran into him in New York, and they commented on how they had both come from small town Tuakau and “made good”.
Simon Doull – our well know ex Black cap cricketer, radio personality and now world travelled cricket commentator, is a local Pukekohe-ite, who made headlines in the cricketing world in his younger years. One of his older brothers, Lincoln, played cricket for Wellington. Simon also played for Northern Districts and Wellington