Obituary – Rex Redfern – by Lindsay Knight
Bowls North Harbour, and the Mairangi Bay club in particular, lost a long-serving and popular member with the death on November 20 at the age of 86 of Rex Redfern-Hardisty.
Rex Redfern, as he was more widely known, was an active member and leading player at Mairangi Bay since the mid-1980s and his exemplary contribution in a range of roles saw him rewarded with life membership in 2018.
As a junior in the old North Shore centre, Rex won several titles and though he never achieved an open centre title he had considerable success, in winning club championships, in meat-pack tournaments and in such prestigious events as Mairangi Bay’s Founders tournament and Takapuna’s Birthday tournament.
With the stocky build of the tigerish forward he had been in his student days at Ardmore College, he always played with a healthy vigour and was feared for his deadliness on the drive. His teaching background made him an ideal coach and he mentored many who later became top class bowlers, one being North Harbour’s most decorated centre champion, Colin Rogan.
He was also responsible for many of his colleagues from the teaching profession joining Mairangi Bay, one being another who went onto a distinguished bowling career in Brian Rogers.
Rogers paid tribute to Rex when ill health forced him to stop playing in 2019, recalling that in 2021 he had become a Mairangi member when Rex spied him playing veterans tennis on the neighbouring courts and suggested it was time to give bowls a go.
“Rex’s positive comments and sage advice meant it was a pleasure to play with and against him for nearly two decades,” Rogers said in his tribute.
As a rugby player, Rex played in the same Ardmore teams in the Counties premier club competition as the All Black Pat Walsh. He later coached rugby and administered at schoolboy level and in 1985, when the North Harbour Rugby Union was formed, he was a foundation member of its board of management.
He was also an enthusiastic squash player and a member of the North Shore club, where his contemporaries included subsequent bowlers and members of the Mairangi Bay club in Keith Berman, Geoff Ladd and Garth Partridge, as well as the writer of this obituary.