Phillip Charles Cooke - (Cookie)
Phillip was the current secretary of The Canterbury Antique and Collectables Club, as he was to Christchurch Garden Railway Club. Other clubs that Phillip was involved with included British Model Railway group in Christchurch, and the Australian British Model Railway Society. That would be where he met Harry Howell, who used to come over quite often on business, and always looked Cookie up when in town. Phillip used to go to quite a few of the Australian Conventions. I think they are held every year. Back in 1995, I had gone to Melbourne to my brother's wedding, and after­ wards" Cookie met up with me, as he had been to a convention over there. We toured around part of Victoria, including Ballarat. Most people that go to Ballarat only get as far as Sovereign Hill, but Cookie had heard about a gate crossing and semaphore signals at the station in Ballarat. so that was included in the tour. Always something interesting when touring with Cookie. He was a committee member when organising the 1980, 1988 and 2000 National Model Railway Conventions here in Christchurch, and a past member of Canterbury Railway Society at Ferrymead. He is also a past representative of the membership committee at Ferrymead Historic Park, and since its restructure, Ferrymead Heritage Park Trust Board. He was also a member of International Plastic Modellers Society, IPMS and as such served his time as committee member and secretary. Because of his Bedford interest, he was also a member of the Vauxhall Owners Club, Bedford division. I went with him in the Bedford on a couple of the Twin Rivers Runs, which were great fun, and again we had to dress in costume. On special occasions, I was allowed to drive the Bedford, but usually only around the Park. He sold it a few years ago, as he realised that he didn't have the skills to restore it to its full glory. There are probably other clubs Phillip was involved. Military modelling comes to mind, but I don't have any details of those. And of course in later years, he met up with Pip, and managed to get her involved in costume in Friends of Ferrymead. Again, his sister Glenda said that she had never seen Cookie so happy as when he first introduced Glenda to Pip. As Fred Gear from Team Ferrymead said in his notice, "Sunday drinks at Curragh Cottage will not be the same without you" Farewell Cookie RIP Allan Guy, Past President, Garden City Model Railroad Club Inc.
02.04.1957 - 17.01.2012
As Martin James, a fellow Friends of Ferrymead member, who lead the service said, "We must not judge a life by the way it ended but you can treasure a life time of memories spent with Phillip" He also said, "I don't remember my first meeting with Phillip - he must have arrived" and in his quiet and unassuming way, he became an integral part of the fabric of our lives." I felt the same way. I joined Garden city Model Rail­ road club in 1989, and Phillip would have been one of the members who showed me around. Later when I was club president, Phillip was my first secretary, and as such was a great help. If any constitutional matters arose, I didn't have to look up the constitution; Phillip knew it off the top of his head. He also knew what was going on around Ferrymead with his various contacts. Later when applying for grants to repair the clubrooms, or for the workshop, it was done with his usual efficiency. Phillip's sister, Glenda told us that he was given a Hornby train set when he was 9. From then on rail­ ways became a passion. Robin Knight has told me that he first remembers Phillip coming into Christ­ church Model Supplies when they had a shop at 635A Worcester St and later on the corner of Lin­ wood Ave and Worcester St, and Phillip was still at Intermediate School. If I go back in my memory banks far enough, I think Trevor Stewart said the same thing about Phillip corning into Hobdays Models and Cycles at the Edgeware end of Colombo St. Phillip joined New Zealand Railways straight from school as an office cadet originally in Moorhouse Ave station. He also worked in Westport on the goods side of NZR, then for a time was Station Agent in Kaiapoi, and then Addington station. At the time he was at Addington it controlled a lot of the private sidings at the back of businesses. From Addington, Phillip was promoted to Claims Officer at B Shed, the main goods depot in Christchurch and was there until it closed down. About 12 months later; he joined the Relay Room in Midas Place, which by this time had been privatised (now named OnTrack), and was there until last week, about 12 years later. I am not sure if Phillip was at the very first meeting to discuss forming a new model railroad club in Christchurch, but he was definitely at the follow up meeting on 3 September, 1979 when Garden City Model Railroad Club was formed. Since then, he has been a valued member of the club, as I have already said, as committee member and then secretary. He was always available for working bees, and if we needed it, his 1953 Bedford K truck was available. Because of his interest in G scale, as well as his British Railways, and because he worked nearby, he was first on the call out list for the LGB train that Garden City Model Railroad Club had in Cobb & Co. Bush Inn. I am not sure that he really wanted this position, but it was carried out with his usual efficiency. And once a year we would have a night cleaning the track, locos and wagons to make sure it kept running smoothly. Around Ferrymead Heritage Park, Phillip was probably better known as a member of Friends of Ferry­ mead. As such, he could be found on a Saturday working around Curragh Cottage in the township. As Martin James said, washers would be fixed, plugs mended, lectures about the dangers of electricity delivered and plugs chopped off. On a Sunday in costume, he would play the part of the Edwardian gentleman. As Margaret Spowart from the Canterbury Antiques and Collectables Club reminded us, Cookie loved to organise group bookings" whetherit was a weekend away, or a night out to a show.