Paul Baker a never-look-back writer
8 March 2019
Journalist and author Paul Stanley Baker who died on 1 March 2019 believed in looking forward.
Born on 1 January 1940, Paul ascribed to the saying: “Once you make the decision to move on, don’t look back your destiny will never be found in the rare view mirror.”
Paul grew up in Lower Hutt and attended Ngaengae College where he excelled in mathematics.
He started his working life as a cadet at the then Post Office, where he worked in the toll exchange, as a welfare officer and supervisor. During his time with the Post Office he built Marram Trust cottages, which were designed to provide holiday homes and accommodation to employees who needed to convalesce and re-establish their lives in New Zealand following World War Two.
After the Post Office was corporatised in the mid-1980s, Paul moved to Masterton, where he spent many years, working first with the Wairarapa Times Age and later with Wairarapa Stuff after changes in news media ownership.
His time in the Wairarapa saw him creating friendships with a number of members of the Ngai Tumapuhia-A-Rangi hapu through his first wife Annie - many of whom including her have sadly passed away.
In the 1990s and prior to his retirement in Rotorua in 2007 he wrote several short stories including 'The Wreck’, ' Hawaiian Blues’ and ‘Trumped’ which were all published in the NZ Woman's Weekly.
Paul married Alison in 2009, after moving to Rotorua in 2008. During their time in Rotorua, Paul and Alison engaged in a number of activities, including voluntary work for St John, and supporting various church groups.
He felt inclined to bring back to life some of the colourful characters he had known and loved during his years of growing up in the 1940s to 1970s era and ‘Caught Up in Time’ was created.
The book describes the life and experiences of people in a world that saw rapid change as it recovered from what he described as the “shell-shock” of the Second World War.
At the time of his death he was working on a novel ‘Riding for Gold and Glory’ based on his experiences in horse racing in New Zealand and Australia.
Although he didn’t have any children of his own, Paul came to love and enjoy the company of Alison’s children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
The couple enjoyed several cruises around New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific and travelled to Asia and Europe in 2013.
A small family gathering was held to farewell Paul in Rotorua.
Publisher and Director