Brian Cotter

1943 to 1944


Most people have been told about the Crash on Wall Street….Well I caused it! The day I was born people started jumping out of windows.

I was born on “Black Tuesday” 21st October 1929, to a couple of struggling farmers in Te Poi, five miles out of Matamata.  Luckily my mother was by then a professional pianist of some fourteen years, having started playing the piano for dances at age ten.  She accompanied her “Fiddler” mother, for four years during the First World War so inevitably I cut my teeth on piano keys at less than one year old, being bedded-down behind the piano.  She earned more money on a Saturday night in four hours than Dad did milking cows for a month during the depression.

Naturally I was born to the local entertainment world, a boy soprano at ten and producing “Parcels for Britain” concerts at 18 years.  I did have some schooling at Taihoa, the Convent and Matamata High School. (1943/44)….Miss Jessop and Mr Vic Lewis were my teachers, Miss Bell the Senior Mistress and “McBean” the Principal.  I left school on my 15th birthday and attended the “University of the Cowshed” for the next few years!

During my “cowshed years” I learnt to fly in the old Tiger Moths, I started raising funds in Queen Carnivals, I coached, captained, administered and played softball in the late 40’s and early 50’s. During this time my brother and I enjoyed entertaining around the local dances as “Two Boys and No Guitar” – Mills brothers style.

I met young Mavis Hooper at a softball game in 1951 and took three months to get enough courage to ask her out.  We were married in 1953 and worked on farms around Matamata.  I started entertaining solo with Danny Kaye impersonations.

I’d had enough of farming by 1960, and moved into town with three daughters and worked as a Government Life Insurance Agent for ten years.  It was in 1960 I was invited to join the Matamata Lions Club, starting as a Committee Chairman and working through as Secretary for two years, Vice President  for three and finally President in 1969 and 1970.

While living in Matamata we had two more children.  During this time I organised “Round the Houses Motor Racing” for two years, ran “Teenarama” dances for four years and was Secretary of the A & P Society for four years.

November 1970 I left it all and moved to Hamilton and became a Rural Broadcaster for Radio Waikato at its inception.  While in Hamilton I led three tours through Australia.  In 1974 I uprooted the family again and shifted to Napier.  I was Public Relations Officer for the City for 12 years, and a City Councillor for three.  In Lions I became a Zone Chairman in 1979 and the 26th President in 1987. (Caused the 1987 “Crash” on my 58th birthday.)

I organised two Major Air Shows and a Military Tattoo, led two more tours to the States, and started the “Wine Trail”, Bay City Bazaar, Art Deco City and many smaller tourist activities. Mavis was a Charter Member and second President of the Napier Lioness Club.  We are both still in Lions!!!

I transferred to the Mount Lions when I joined International Entertainment (Australasia) in 1989 as their International Marketing Director, a position I still hold – (No longer at the “Coal Face” but still in contact”.) The Company annually promotes and tours the “World Festival of MAGIC” – using International Magicians and Illusionists.

For three years we were extremely busy overseas, promoting fundraising for Lions, Rotary and Police Clubs throughout New Zealand, Australia and England.  We have now raised several million dollars for Clubs and are still expanding.

Meantime I was President of Mt Maunganui Lions, Charter Member of Tauranga City Lions Club, Secretary for two years and Past President.  I organised and led a Lions Tour to China in 2007.  I’m now back with Mount Maunganui Lions – talk about recycling!

My hobbies and sports include travel, I’m an ex softballer ,a golfer,  a bowler, and was Omanu Bowling Club President for two years. I still play bowls at Omanu, despite being a bionic man with two new hips, two knees, two ankles and a shoulder!!!

I still love being married to Mavis, now for 59 years, being father to four great girls and one son, being grandfather to ten grandchildren, and great grandfather to two.

Presently I enjoy dancing, talking, telling jokes and being a resident of Bayswater Village, Mount Maunganui, in Tauranga. I caused the “Asian Crash” on my 70th birthday.  (Can’t wait for my 150th birthday to see what “Wall St” Crash will happen then!!!!! )