Grahame Roberts – Tribute to an inspiring volunteer

Feb 24, 2022

19 July 1943 – 20 October 2021 Grahame [pictured] in Nepal 2015.

Grahame Roberts was a man who gave his life to the service of others. He touched hundreds if not thousands of lives. A lay preacher, he was very active in his Howick and Waiuku churches and communities, but it was with Habitat for Humanity that his service to others really touched the lives of many around the world. We were blessed with his presence and leadership for many years.

Grahame started his army service at 21, where his building skills were used in the Engineers Corp, meeting his soon to be wife, Wendy at the Papatoetoe Methodist church while stationed locally.

Grahame’s daughter Donna, introduced him to Habitat in the early 2000’s after inviting him to join a Global Village build in Fiji that she was coordinating. He was hooked, and it was here that his talent for thinking outside the box really came in handy, looking for solutions rather than problems. He took part in many Global Village Builds thereafter, all around the world, including the Blitz Build in 2005 as a House Leader.

When he was asked to assist with the building of homes in Tonga, he quickly designed strong homes that used material with little waste. He also organised the pre-cutting of components and stacking containers in such a way the materials were readily available to build from the ground up, saving valuable time and manpower.

While in Nepal, preparing for the 2015 Carter Build, the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck causing widespread destruction. Grahame immediately turned his attention to ensuring local families had what they needed before assisting the organisation’s disaster response to the Kathmandu Habitat team who had lost their homes.

One of his many attributes was his ability to inspire and lead others, through his tireless efforts in the field and warm, giving personality.

Grahame never fully retired, remaining active in his church and community in his later years. He was well known for taking on build work for anyone who asked..

Conrad LaPointe, CEO Habitat Northern said, “We were blessed with his presence and leadership for many years. He will be greatly missed, and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”

Grahame, a fun loving father, is sadly missed by his wife Wendy, their children, and grandchildren. A family spokesperson said, “We are sure you are in Heaven fixing or volunteering to help with something.”