Life of former All Black celebrated

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He played 13 games for the All Blacks, made 91 appearances for Southland rugby and was a life member of the New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeder’s Association, but Robin Archer’s proudest accomplishment was being from Gore.

Mr Archer’s family held a celebration of his life in Gore on Friday after he died in Auckland on March 9 this year.

Mr Archer’s daughter, Kate Agnew, said it was important to the family they brought Mr Archer back home to Gore.

“Robin always felt coming from Gore was one of the best things you could do – coming from here you could springboard [to] anything, and he was so proud of that,” Mrs Agnew said.

About 180 people attended the celebration at the Gore RSA, which included talks about three different segments of Mr Archer’s life and video presentations.

Mr Archer’s daughter, Susan Archer, said it was wonderful to listen to rugby players Mr Archer had coached and former employees of the family business, Archer Building Contractors, about the impact Mr Archer had on their lives.

“We invited those attending the celebration to share their memories on video and many did so – it’s a permanent record my family will always cherish,” Ms Archer said.

Mrs Agnew mirrored her sister’s sentiments, and was elated with how the celebration turned out.

“It was just fantastic, a lot of people travelled from Northland – it was a fantastic turn-out,” she said.

The pair grew up in Gore with their family and Mrs Agnew said sport was a big component in their house.

Mr Archer and his wife, Muriel Archer, were enthusiastic horse racers and bred thoroughbred horses for more than 50 years, Ms Archer said.

Mr Archer was born in Invercargill on September 19, 1930, but grew up in Gore.

He played 24 rugby games for Otago before returning to Gore to play for Southland.

Mr Archer moved to Christchurch in 1989 with his wife and later settled in Auckland in 2011.

The celebration of Mr Archer’s life in Gore was a memory his family would treasure.

“It was very fitting for him – Robin would have been very proud of it,” Mrs Agnew said.