Gordon Jakeman – the challenges he set himself had no room for failure

Gordon Jakeman was the seventh of 11 children to Frank and Violet Jakeman.
He was known as Gordie to his friends and was of Ngaati Koroki, Ngaati Te Ata, Te Waiariki and Croatian descent.
He grew up on his mother’s whanau farm, ‘Mataitawa’ on Waipipi Road. He spent most of his childhood fishing, eeling and gathering shellfish to stock the family pataka.
Being raised in a threebedroom house with eight sisters and two brothers did not allow him to have anything he wanted, however it did build a strong sense of whanau. This life gave Gordon a good grounding of who he was and where he wanted to be.
He was heavily influenced by Peter Posa, Chet Atkins and Gray Bartlett from a very early age, and would sit in his room for hours until he produced the same sounds.
This led to 40-plus years in the music industry. Music, though, was just one outlet for his energies.
While at Waiuku College he was introduced to rugby, where his passion for the game grew and he became a dedicated member of the Waiuku Rugby Club.
Gordon played over 200 games for Waiuku and represented Counties Maori and Senior A Division.
He also served three seasons as president of the Waiuku Rugby Club, a position he held with pride.
After leaving school, Gordon found employment at Leamings Butchery, specialising as a slaughterman butcher where he built a reputation in the rural farming community, and every farmer knew who he was.
After 25 years in the industry, he moved to NZ Steel Waikato North Head, where he recently completed 25 years of service.
Gordon had always had an interest in snooker, and took on the game more seriously when his rugby ended.
He found solace in the game and won many tournament along the way. In recent years, with his health failing, he won a national title in the Veterans National Tournament held in Tokoroa. A very proud moment for his son Damon, who was a major sponsor of that event.
Gordon was a very determined individual, who did everything with a purpose; the challenges he set himself in life had no room for failure.
He met his wife Piki 47 years ago, and together they travelled the world, enjoying the pleasures of life along the way.
Gordon will be sadly missed by Piki, his children Damon, Anita, Rhema and their partners and his seven mokopuna.

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