Peter Collier

Peter Collier husband, father, friend, musician, luthier and cabinetmaker,

died yesterday on a tributary of the Navua River on Viti Levu, Fiji. Peter died of natural causes (probably a heart attack) just after starting out with friends on a gentle trip through a beautiful and remote river gorge.

We had taken 2 hours to drive into the launch site, through a steep flanked gorge and over a saddle at about 800 m above sea level. Pete singing (stuffing up the words of the Lumberjack song) en route and enjoying the amazing scenes. We then all scrambled down a steep path to the launch site on the river and there Pete obviously felt discomfort and sat down to rest. He then decided to do the first part of the trip as a passenger in the lead guide’s canoe and we all went through the first 3 rapids (where Mandy fell out of her canoe). Then it became obvious that Pete was getting worse and as we stopped, Pete stopped breathing. Mandy and others worked with him for the next hour but it became evident that he had gone. He died in the company of Mandy, with old and new friends in a beautiful place.

People from the nearby village came down to help and took Pete back up through the rapids in his canoe to the launch site and then with great care and skill, carried him up the steep path to the road and to the village. At the village, Pete was laid on beautiful mats in a village house and we sat with him, the villagers and river guides until the truck came.

We are currently making arrangements to get Pete and Mandy back to Auckland, probably late in the week, but at this stage cannot confirm dates. When arrangements are confirmed, the family will then advise details for the commemoration of Pete’s life.

It must have been the right time for Pete to go, but a pain in the arse for those left behind. Something we will take up with him in due course.

Thanks to our fellow travelers and guides on the trip and the people of Nakavika village, who never knew Pete but showed such kindness and gave so much help.

Love to all he left behind.


Ka kite ano

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