I was very saddened to learn of the passing of my colleague and friend Dave Moore on May 31, which I learned about a few hours after.
You don’t expect your mates to drop dead at breakfast while on a press trip, especially not at the age of 67, and it’s particularly painful to know he leaves behind a wife and two children.
The only solace is that he was doing something he loved, in a beautiful part of New Zealand, Wanaka.
One of my good memories is driving with Dave along south Auckland roads, each of us in a new BMW 650i Cabriolet, during the press launch in 2011. Good manners prevent me from saying what speeds we were doing, but as this is a public blog, let’s say it was 101 km/h on a 100 km/h road. Remember Dave was 61 at this point but he still had the reflexes of a guy half his age.
Having travelled up this road earlier (this was our return journey), we knew the likelihood of anyone coming the other way was remote. We decided to wind things back down to 50 km/h when we hit the main road and about 200 m down was a police checkpoint!
We beamed innocently, as though we were doing the legal limit all the time.
Back at BMW, Dave said to me, ‘That was good, but you could feel a bit of flex in the chassis. Let’s hope they fix that for the M6.’
Dave was a good bloke. We didn’t always agree but we were always civil about it. On that I have no regrets. He hated mispronunciations (d’Or being pronounced as Dior was his pet peeve) and his politics tended to be further right than mine, but we never let that get in the way of a healthy respect for each other. He was in a good place in his life after quitting the top motoring post at Fairfax New Zealand, and doing his own thing. His daughter was moving up in the foreign service and doing exceptionally well, and he was deeply proud of her. The only photo I have of him is a silly one (he’s on the left and no, I don’t remember why three of us put the napkins on our heads) but usually when you’re on a press junket, you’re not taking photos of your colleagues!
Dave was still posting on social media right up till his death, remarking how he was enjoying his view at his accommodation in Wanaka.
There’s something fitting about his Facebook cover photo being his beloved dog, Ruby, walking alone into the distance.
Our last conversation online was discussing the death of Sir Roger Moore a week before. Dave remembered Ivanhoe and we talked about Robert Brown playing the serf to Roger Moore’s Sir Winifred. Sadly, it wasn’t a car conversation, but it’s not a bad one to end on.
My condolences to Dave’s family on the passing of a much loved and respected man.