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New Zealand Journal of Forestry (2007) 52(3): 46–47
©New Zealand Institute of Forestry

The mighty rimu has fallen. Leith Knowles, 27th November 1943 – 19th November 2007

Piers Maclaren

[First paragraphs ...]
A forest consists of many trees. But - like a giant rimu emerging from a beech canopy - some trees tower over the others. Leith Knowles resembled that dominant rimu.

Leith was raised in Southland and attended Gore High School, from which he qualified with UE. He represented his school in athletics, in cross-country running, in rugby (2nd XV) and was a sergeant in school cadets. At the age of 17 he applied to join the NZFS, and was accepted for the 1962 intake. The induction course took him to Rotorua and Reefton, and subsequently he was posted to Conical Hill and Rankleburn Forests to gain practical experience. He was assessed as a “quiet and pleasant trainee of strong character”. Later, we all lived in awe of that strong character!
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