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So long Sel...Kapiti character farewelled
September 2012
Ngaire and Selly Hyde receiving an award at Kapiti Rotary

Selly Hyde, one of Kapiti's most notable citizens was farewelled yesterday at St Paul's Anglican Church in Paraparaumu.

A packed congregation turned out to see off Selwyn Ernest Hyde (known to most as Selly) and pay respects to his wife of 63 years Ngaire and the family. Moving tributes were given by family members, Graeme Waters of Kapiti Rotary, friend Guy Weaver, and Bill Cranston and Tim Morgan of the Fire Service. A guard of honour was formed by Rotarians at the end of the ceremony.


Below is a tribute to Selly, written by Guy Weaver earlier this year.


A man of Initiative; to plagiarise JFK, Selly asked not what his community could do for him but what he could do for the community. Born in June, 1925, he has a Model T the same vintage along with a Model A and Ford coupe V8. Now at the tender age of 84 we take time to look back and honour one of our affable, larger than life, quiet achievers.
Growing up in Shannon, his Dad died when Selly was a young teenager so he had to leave school to help mum.
His Parents owned the Movie theatre, and shoe shop and Selly worked in both, also running the ice cream and confectionary at half time, following this up at the end of the evening by being the taxi driver to take the movie goers home.
He married Ngaire 63 years ago and they have 4 children, 7 grandchildren, two great grandchildren and five chosen grandchildren.
One day in Shannon Selly was cleaning some paint brushes on the porch after painting the Theatre and Ngaire came by and he said do you know that the building next door has x number of sheets of iron on it and if we sold them that would cover the purchase price? So they raked together their funds and bought not onlty the iron but the building and the land setting up the Hardware store he and Ngaire owned and operated for several years.
Against popular belief Selly wasn't the Mayor of Shannon but his father was!
At the age of 31 Selly, Ngaire and family moved to Kapiti in 1952 (popn 4000) the Paekakariki pub was the only licensed hotel on the coast.
Hyde Park Motor Camp in Seaview Rd became home. Selly's parents brought it in 1934 and they purchased it from them and ran it for a further 28 years, before selling in 1983, it is now a subdivision.
At the Motor Camp they had a community room which local groups used at no charge and enjoyed Ngarie's hospitality.
Many Kapiti Community groups can trace their origin to this room.
Selly was the chairman, president and became Patron of our St John's; he was instrumental in the creation and construction of the St John clubrooms.
Similarly he is a past chief of the Caledonian society.
Selly is an honorary Fireman although never a member, the brigade compete for the Hyde cup each year.
He is one of the five men that built the Levin motor racing circuit at the Levin race course.
He was instrumental in the formation, and the first commodore of, the Paraparaumu Boating Club.
After getting kicked out of the top pub one night and still being thirsty he and three friends set about creating the Kapiti Club and he was the second President.
Whilst having a busy business life at the camp and in the community Selly was a busy Rotarian
He Joined the Paraparaumu club in 1961 and was a very active member. They built the model rail here at Bluegum Park which was then moved to the Maclean park and I understand it still goes at Owlcatraz. Working bees were the order of the day in our growing community, the Paekakariki hill lookout is one of these. Selly had to point out to the architect that if the direction dial was set to point to Australia then Sth America was not next door. Needless to say they got things right but the vandals thought more of it and unfortunately it went west.
The Paraparaumu Rotary club grew to the extent that catering was awkward and Selly was on the committee that was challenged to form our Kapiti Rotary Club and he is our founding President.
Selly has been to two Rotary International conferences one in Melbourne when you travelled by boat to get there, the other in Birmingham England in 1984, it became part of a holiday after he and Ngaire sold the Camp. When asked what he enjoyed most, Selly replied it was talking to the people out the back.
Being part of a Rotary team to Tonga to rebuild a Hall and Kitchen was a highlight.
For many years Selly was in charge of the District Caravan club and many a member still camp at Hyde Park in Te Horo today.
He is famous for his rotary tripe and onion evenings although they have been few and far between (thank goodness) my wife attended these for me.
The Hyde family home has always been a welcoming place with many Rotary exchange students over the years America, Japan, Europe and matched twins from Australia. Ngaire still stays in contact.
I had just started in business in 1988 when I met Selly tyre kicking on the yard, after a few such meetings he said to me "you need Rotary"
I well remember bringing our children to the Christmas functions where Selly revelled in being Father Christmas. His generous and caring nature was not lost on the children.
Selly always pushed for fireside meetings and committee meetings to be held in the homes of members so as to involve others in the family.
Selly and Ngaire started Hyde Park in the 1980's and it has evolved into a little business community of shops and the museum. You will see things in there that are not in Te Papa. But it is the school kids that have provided the most joy as the master story teller brought to life the inanimate objects and gave them meaning.
A passion for people, a love of family and vocational attitude to our community can only begin to describe this man.
It would be unfair not to acknowledge Ngaire who has been a member of our Rotary inner wheel for many years. She has supported Selly through thick and thin and assisted him to be the man he is.
As I stated at the start Selly asks not what others can do for him but what he can do for them, this encapsulates our Rotary 'Service above Self' creed.

 
Comments
Ann Reading (added 268 weeks ago)
It was with support from Selly and the use of his community room tht the Kapiti Car Club first was started. I personally remember the shed at the camp - where a treasure trove of "you never knew when you might need it's" were stored and always available to anyone who asked.
Cliff Hitch (added 270 weeks ago)
As a past President of Kapiti Rotary now living in Queensland. I well remember Selly's enthusiasym for life and for all things positive and good. We will miss you old friend.
Jim Dryburgh (added 271 weeks ago)
I am so sorry that I was not there to say goodbye as I was out of country on duty. As a past President of the Kapiti Rotary Club Selly was a great inspiration, guide and mentor. He typified the ideals of Rotary as does his wonderful life partner, his wife Ngaire. He will be much missed but never forgotten, being etched in our memories as one of the 1st Battalion of Good Guys. It wouldn't suprise me if he was currently organising a working bee to paint the pearly gates!
Jackie Elliott (nee Buckley) (added 271 weeks ago)
If there had been such a person as the Mayor of Paraparaumu Beach, it would have been Selly, uncontested for 50 years. We will miss you Sel.
winstonmoreton (added 272 weeks ago)
well said Guy
John (added 272 weeks ago)
A touching tribute to a real old school community-minded citizen. We can only hope that there are more like Selly in the current and future generations who will just both start and finish community projects without expecting giovernment to do it for them.
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