Wayne Cretney Tribute

An Ode to an Orienteer - By Bryan Teahan (1988)

By now most of you would have heard about the tragic death of Wayne Cretney - a member of the Wairarapa club. I have known him since the beginning of the club 7 years ago - it seems like I knew him for much longer. I feel it appropriate to write a few memories about this very special man.

Wayne will be sorely missed in many ways as he was the mainstay of our club and I will remember him forever for the incredible amount of work he put into Orienteering.

For the 7 years he was a member he has indelibly left his mark forever in the life-blood of our club. He was the rock on which the foundations of the club were laid. I remember him for:

- the very first day I met him - the very first event of the club - he ran all 3 courses and came back with that gleam in his eye knowing he was hooked - 'this is the sport for me'.

- walking around hills and valleys in rain or shine carrying hundreds of controls. For the countless, thankless tasks he did.

- for the advice and guidance of an experienced person for a club in its infancy; for being club president for 2 years and a steadying influence to shape our club's future.

- for the titanic battles he had with the members of the M40 brigade; the grade will not seem as competitive now that he's gone.

- for the trips away especially the companionship of all-night relays with seven members of a team.

- he was the perfect member of a club - always giving; always working hard in all aspects of the sport far beyond and above the normal - even sometimes to the detriment of work committment and family life.

- for his large smile as he thundered around on his courses with map and compass clad only in his running pants and his thick bear rug of a chest.

- in the first 6 months of his Orienteering career he did the incredible: he mapped, drew, printed and set a course - a monumental feat for a new person to Orienteering - only a person of Wayne's enthusiasm, drive and determination could have achieved this.

- for the special moments of family togetherness - the very real love between Wayne and his family - the trials and tribulations of a family Orienteering together.

- for the courses he set - he never was the running sort of Orienteer; he loved a meaty sort of course in the most difficult part of the map - in the light green and grubby stuff, in the intricate parts of the forest and in the steep physical parts of a map. You certainly knew that when you finished a Wayne Cretney course you had passed the most exacting test possible and you could henceforth take on any challenge.

His courses were rugged but they were the best courses I have competed on and my skill as an Orienteer will be poorer for not having him to keep me up to scratch.

It is tragic that Wayne cannot be with us anymore and enjoy many more years competing in the sport he loved. He has left many sad people behind, but we are forever thankful for having met and for having shared many moments of joy and toil with this special person who I regarded as a very dear friend.

Winter Classic