Last Friday 10th June 2019 saw the sad passing aged 91 years, of one of the great stalwarts of Manawatu Cycling, who gave over 50 years of outstanding support and sponsorship to the sport.
Monty got involved in the sport in 1945, and was the oldest of 4 brothers; John, Fred, and Colin who followed him into cycling in varying degrees of enthusiasm. Colin was the most competitive but Fred became very famous as an eye surgeon, The Fred Hollows Foundation today is his enduring legacy.
By 1947 Monty had started to become a very good rider and was a member of the Palmerston North Amateur Athletics & Cycling Club that won the 1947 W.C.N.I Hope Gibbons Teams Time Trial. He also took 2nd fastest time in the Palmerston North to Bulls and return handicap 36 mile open cycle race, which was the biggest race on the local calendar at that period often getting 100 starters.
In 1948 Monty finished 5th in the 100 mile N.Z Amateur Road Cycling Championships held on the Awahuri Circuit (near Feilding), which was won by Palmerston North rider, the late Mick Mobberley.
In the Empire Games 1950 100 mile trial at Auckland 5th just missing out on selection for the N.Z. Team to ride in the Auckland Empire Games, 1950.
When he finished racing Monty became a very good cycling coach; his best protégé was David Dixon who rode for NZ on the track and won a NZ title in the Junior 3000m pursuit in Levin in 1979 setting a N.Z. Record.
In cycling administration Monty was a great facilitator and got on very well with all the cycling fraternity. He served on the Committee of the Palmerston North Amateur Road Cycling Club for several years, served a term as president and became its Patron in 1997.
Monty was a horticulturist for all his working life and was a specialist grower of Chrysanthemum’s and an exporter of Nerines to the Japan Market. He developed the Cloverlea Orchards in the 1980’s and opened the T Market fresh Vegetable Market in Tremaine Avenue in the 1990’s. T Market Fresh sponsored the Novice Tour during that period.
Monty has left his enduring landmark on the city of Palmerston North when he developed a block of land into residential sections in Roslyn. He named the street Tabak Crescent as he much adored the great cyclist Tino Tabak, who also wo 2 Tours of the Manawatu.
One of my final lasting memories of Monty was that as a retirement job in the early 2000’s, Monty took up taxi driving. His big black Mercedes (an early 1990’s model) stood out when lined up in the Taxi Cab rank in church Street outside the Plaza. On my way home from training I always stopped to have a chat with Monty on the cab rank. He always greeted me with that famous friendly smile he had, and he was delighted to have an interesting talk with me about local cycling gossip and news of the town and country.
From all of us that knew you, Monty we will miss you greatly!
Post Script – Interview with Monty Hollows “Cycling is a great sport – it has given many good friends and a whole lot of high points.” The Tribune, March 2 1997
Its National Volunteer Week and its time to celebrate our amazing volunteers within our Cycling Community. A big thank you from Bike Manawatu to each and everyone of you who help make a difference, we really do appreciate your amazing dedication and kindness.
National Volunteer Week celebrates the collective contribution of the 1.2 million volunteers who enrich Aotearoa New Zealand.
National Volunteer Week 2019 runs from June 16-22. This year’s theme is “Whiria te tangata – weaving the people together”. Volunteering, Mahi Aroha and social action weave people and communities together.
Join us this National Volunteer Week to stand together in our differences and choose to connect.