Gordon Llewellyn is a name you have probably never heard off but he played a pivotal role in the birth of the Special Olympics movement in New Zealand.
In 1983, he and three other Hutt athletes – Colin Bailey, Peter Spijkerman and Brent Busby – made history when they attended the Summer Special Olympics in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
The trip was organised by Grant Quinn, who later said Gordon Llewellyn proved the perfect poster boy for the Special Olympics movement in New Zealand.
Llewellyn was a larger than life character with a bold personality and a fascination with the TV character Magnum PI.
Years later Quinn recalled the flight over and an announcement that came over the intercom.
"This is your captain speaking … I have a very special passenger with me in the cockpit. His name is Gordon Llewellyn from New Zealand."
Llewellyn quickly took over the microphone and proceeded to entertain the whole plane.
"Next minute Gordon was asking, or should I say demanding, that everybody on board give the team a rousing three cheers to wish the team a successful time in Baton Rouge," recalled Quinn.
The team performed well at the Olympics and athletes returned home heroes, proudly wearing their medals for weeks to make sure nobody missed their success.
Llewellyn died in August 2014 and Quinn gave the eulogy. He told mourners that Llewellyn and the other three Hutt swimmers had changed the public's perception of the intellectually disabled.
They had helped win mainstream acceptance and played a key role in promoting an organisation that now had more than 7000 active members.
This weeks Pet of the Day is Hazel, a cavapoochon. Cavapoochon are a triple-cross breed, combining the best traits of the Cavalier King Charles, Bichon Frise and Toy Poodle.
Proud owner Fiona Soffe says Hazel is well known in Kilbirnie.
"She’s four years old and we’ve owned her since she was five weeks old, I formula feed her till she was old enough to start solids. She’s a princess."
The Pet of the Day is no longer be appearing in the Dominion Post and instead you will find it on Neighbourly every Saturday. If you want your pet featured, email us on email@example.com with a recent photo.
We'd be keen to hear about your favourite summer holiday spots in NZ. Is there somewhere you keep returning to year after year and, if so, what are the main attractions? What makes it such a stand-out spot? Any tips you may be able to offer on the best things to see and do there - as well as the best places to grab a drink or bite to eat - would be much appreciated. Please put 'NFP' (not for publication) in your comment if you don't want it to appear in a travel article. Thanks again.