Rocking for Margaret


No-one was in any doubt – Margaret Evelyn would have hated missing such a great party on Sunday at the Cambridge Cricket Pavilion.

The ‘Afternoon Tea without Marg’ celebration attracted more than 100 people from around New Zealand and Australia.

Margaret Evelyn

It was held to honour Margaret’s life which ended so tragically last month in Waikato Hospital two and a half hours after freakish winds brought down a pin oak tree on top of her only metres away from the very pavilion where people celebrated her life.

Her three sons, Kristen, Campbell and Brett Hapi, who arrived from Melbourne with his family the previous day, were joined by two of the country’s top session musicians Gary Verberne and Tim Armstrong to play the songs Margaret loved to listen to.

Margaret’s friend Sue Duignan was one of several who paid tribute saying she knew the woman she first met in the 1990s when they were both social workers, would have loved the party.

She would have particularly enjoyed the boys playing their music, she said.

Kristen was on the drums, Campbell on the keyboards, until he played lead guitar on The Eagles’ Hotel California, and Brett on bass.

Gary Verberne played guitar as he has on hundreds of records and gigs for DD Smash, When the Cat’s Away, Shona Laing and Boh Runga among others.

Tim Armstrong was the lead singer and also played the guitar. He started his career in Tokoroa as a teenager for top Waikato band The Politicians and has been out on his own and with the Tim Armstrong Band for several years.

Several others sang and played music to celebrate the 81-year-old mother of three and grandmother of three.

A photographic slide show which played continuously during the celebration confirmed what Sue Duignan said – Margaret was a fashionista who was enjoying life and had style, resilience and attitude.

Drummer Kristen Hapi, keyboardist Campbell Hapi, bass Brett Hapi, acoustic guitar and lead singer Tim Armstrong, lead guitar Gary Verberne.

Other guests included the woman who was first on the scene and comforted Margaret while Cambridge volunteer firefighters freed her from under the tree, Waipā mayor Jim Mylchreest, deputy mayor Liz Stolwyk and Customer and Community Services group manager Sally Sheedy.

Margaret died on May 20. The remains of the 80-year-old pin oak tree were removed from the scene in the days leading up to the celebration.

Wood from the tree will be used to provide a memorial for Margaret.

Read: Tea without Marg

Read: Woman dies after freakish winds topple tree

Drummer Kristen Hapi, keyboardist Campbell Hapi, bass Brett Hapi, acoustic guitar and lead singer Tim Armstrong, lead guitar Gary Verberne.

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