The following story really did happen and I think the other day when Phil Goff came around, he gave me permission to let the world know about this dashing exploit. Mind you we were both very young then--- I think this comes from the early 70’s. It has been publicly aired once at a wedding anniversary party for my dear parents many years ago.
I once flatted with my older brother in an old flat on the corner of Carruth Road and Puhinui Rd in Papatoetoe. I was hardly twenty years old. It was a typical cheap flat that you would expect students to have and I was in my experimental days re cooking. My brother had quite conservative tastes in food. For example, garlic was an exotic no no and God forbid if I cooked mince with anything other than salt, pepper, onions and carrots.
He accepted my slightly wilder life style. I had met Phil through other friends and I was soon involved in the junior section of the NZ Labour party, rising to the exalted heights of Junior Representative for Auckland, along with Phil. I did not of course follow along with Phil and enter at a constituency level and on to a glorious career in Parliament. Just as well, eh--- too many skeletons.
I often visited Phil in his flat in St Georges Street, almost next door to my granddad. Phil would also drop in on me from time to time. Now, this is where the story takes a turn for the mad.
Phil has an equine background---No he doesn’t look like a horse, even though he did support a flowing mane of hair in those days, somewhat horsey, one might say. I too sported locks that would be the envy of many. Phil’s parents had a lifestyle block in Alfriston (we didn’t call it that, back then) and he had a horse which he often rode beyond the confines of the said block.
On a lovely day in God knows what month or even the year, I heard a noise at my door—which was quickly followed by a rather unusual sound of snorting and a clomp clomp, which gained in momentum until a horse with Phil atop, came into the lounge. God, I thought, I hope that thing doesn’t crap on the floor, but mind you—the flat is such a mess, no one would notice.
I’m not sure how long Phil stayed, but I know that he stuck the horse's head out the window, just as my brother drove along Carruth Road and turned into our flat. He walked nonchalantly into the lounge, sat down and didn’t say a word. I am sure he noticed the said beast. Maybe he had such a calm demeanour about him that he wasnt in for a rise--- possibly from having to put up with me on a daily basis.
Perhaps this shows all and sundry that Phil too has had his moments. Don’t underestimate his capacity to live life as it should be lived--- have fun, do your thing and laugh. I think he should have repeated the same stunt in Parliament a few times and found the Key to people’s hearts. He’s great bloke.