Sports Refugee Remembered
Wanganui-born journalist Jock Veitch who as a student at Wanganui Collegiate was regarded as a slacker and told there was nothing wrong with him that a game of rugger or cricket couldn’t fix, has died in France, aged 81. As a youth, writing skills provided his ticket out of the country. Leaving school, he became a cadet journalist at the Wellington Star and prospered spiritually, if not financially. In 1954, he left for Australia to save money to “go home” to England, as all good New Zealanders did. Moving to The Sun-Herald and The Sydney Morning Herald in the late 1950s, he found that Fairfax had six classical music writers and no popular music writers so he filled the breach and was soon writing about films, too. Then he was interviewing, and often befriending, the likes of Eartha Kitt, Rock Hudson, Shirley Bassey, Eddie Fisher, Phil Silvers and Normie Rowe and touring with the Beatles. In 1977, when on holiday in New York, he was offered a job on The Star, a competitor to the National Enquirer. In the early 1990s, he visited an old New Zealand friend, David Barwick, in the south-west of France, where Barwick’s wife, Margaret, showed him a house for sale in the village of St Caprais. This time, nudging 70, Veitch pulled the plug on New York and everything familiar to him. Jock Veitch is survived by three daughters, five grandchildren and his Australian partner Bronwen Mason.
Jock Veitch: 1928 – 2009