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THE 80S: The Bregmen family from the 1980s, from left, Brian and Jan, Shern, Blair and Scott.   Photo supplied


3.10.34 – 15.6.2020

Brian Bregmen was born at Matamata on October 3, 1934, to Victor and Phoebe Bregmen (nee Atkins).

Two more members of the family were to come later, letting Brian become big brother to Penelope (Pen Bertleson) and Loyce (Bartosh). The family moved to the Atkins family farm in Manakau north of Ōtaki in 1939 when Victor went to fight in the Second World War.

Brian attended Manakau School and then went to Wellington College as a boarder.

When he left college, he worked firstly at the ANZ Bank in Levin. He went to work at the bank’s Wellington branch after marrying Jannice (Jan) Silson on March 31, 1956.  Brian was later transferred to the Pahiatua branch.

Brian and Jan moved back to the Kāpiti District, where they built their Ōtaki house in which they lived for most of the remainder of their life. They became well known in Dunstan Street, especially for their garden that had people stopping to look. They raised three children there – Shern (Knowles), Blair and Scott.

There they remained until they both moved into the Waikanae Lodge a couple of years ago.

Settled into Ōtaki, Brian started work with Edwards Transport, later to become Coastal Freighters. When the company closed, he spent a little time pumping gas at the local petrol station and then worked for Mowbray’s Collectables, where he remained until he retired. In retirement he did some part-time work at Matta Products and described his position there as the “CEO of the grit room”.

Brian played rugby for Horowhenua-Kāpiti as a junior and then joined the Athletic Rugby Club in Levin as a senior. He had a great love of rugby, and despite his Athletic affiliation, he was an ardent supporter of Ōtaki’s Rāhui Rugby Club.

But he was also keen on sport in general. He was an avid tennis player and organiser of his beloved veterans tennis tournaments.

Brian was a great community man, and was for many years part of the local Lions Club. He was always available to help anyone at any time, be it school galas, fundraisers, or paraplegic camps.

He had a love of the outdoors, was a keen duck-shooter and tended his home garden. The home in Dunstan Street was a testament to that. People would often stand and admire his and Jan’s efforts.

Above all that, Brian was a family man in every sense of the word. He loved his family, both close and extended. He was a people’s person. He was a devoted husband and he thought the world of his children. He took great pride in them all, including his grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Brian was a true gentleman, displaying those old-school characteristics of politeness, manners, dignity, loyalty, strong ethics, community spiritedness and authenticity. He was kind and caring, with a quick wit, always willing to go the extra mile for anyone. He made everyone welcome and the door at Dunstan Street was always open for family and friends.

Brian will be sadly missed by Jan, his family, his friends and all who knew him.

Source: Blair, Shern and Scott Bregmen

Farewell to Brian Bregmen



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