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Colin Andrew (Drew) Howat

May 16, 2024

His family is deeply saddened that their beloved Drew, passed away suddenly on Thursday May 16, 2024, aged 69 years. Dearly loved son of Mary and the late Colin Howat, cherished husband of Liz Sawkins and adored brother and brother-in-law of Susan and Ian Hustwick. Drew has been a lifelong loyal musician in the Westland District Brass Band, a private Microlight aviator, special nephew, cousin and a man held in high regard by his many friends. Our heartfelt thanks are extended to Drew’s colleagues in the School Bus Service, Hokitika St John Ambulance first responders, Hokitika Volunteer Fire Brigade and resuscitation team at Grey Base Hospital, their combined efforts in his hour of need were greatly appreciated. Messages of condolences to the Howat and Sawkins families can be sent to PO Box 135 Hokitika 7842 or on Drew’s tribute page at A private cremation has been held.


  1. Stu Paul

    Condolences to Liz and family. A great man taken to early.

    • Winona and Phillip Dowell

      To Sue and Ian

      Sorry to hear of Drew’s passing. Our deepest sympathy in your sad loss.
      Winona and Phillip Dowell

    • Winona and Phillip Dowell

      To Sue and Ian

      Sorry to hear of Drew’s passing. Our deepest sympathy in your sad loss.

  2. Karen Burrows

    Our deepest condolences to Drew’s family
    He has been a very loyal Buglar for the RSA, we are very thankful for his service to us

  3. David Elliston

    So sorry to hear of Drews passing. Condolences to Liz and Whanau.

    • Gerald keats

      Saddened to read of Drew’s passing. Condolences to Drew’s family. Gerald and Janet Keats

  4. Celine

    Bye Drew. It’s been great fun making music with you and your Drewsaphone all these years. Laughing at your bad jokes, enjoying a feed after a playout, saying hello when you picked up my girls on the bus. Thank you for the amazing microlight flight and boat ride. I’ll really miss you.

    Love to Liz, Sue, Ian and the rest of the family. My thoughts are with you.

  5. Mary Fittock

    Deepest Sympathy to Liz ,
    Mrs Howat, Sue & Ian and all Extended Families.

  6. Leanne McGill

    Oh how sad and shocked I was to hear this news he was such a live wire running here and there I worked with Drew up at the airport he was so helpful and always up for a wee chat I’m sure he will be sadly missed by a lot of people I’m sorry for your loss Liz 🥲

    • Kate M

      So sorry to hear of Drew’s passing sending loads of love to Liz and the family

  7. Suzanne Theyers

    Aunty Mary, Liz, Susan and Ian I’m so sorry that you have all lost such a wonderful man. Drew was a lovely man who had time for everyone. Drew will be sorely missed by his family. All my love to you all at this difficult time. Suzanne.

    • Ken Reece and Lyn McINTOSH

      Deepest sympathy at your great and sudden loss.
      Such a diverse and pleasant man
      Farwell Drew….

  8. Debra-Ann Howat

    Saddened to hear of Drew’s passing.. condolences to the Howat family.

  9. Judy Wilson

    So sorry to hear this news deepest sympathy to all the family

  10. Pauline & Hemi Te Rakau

    Our condolences to all Drew’s family. Drew was a wonderful bus driver who treated every kid on the bus with good humour and fairness. He will be sadly missed by the bus kids and their families. taken too soon

  11. Rex & Anthea Keenan

    Sad to hear of Drew’s passing. Thoughts are with you all

    • Lynn Welsford

      Liz. We are so very sorry to hear the terrible news about Drew. We are so grateful for all the time we have spent with him over the past months. He has had a long and enjoyable musical life. I’ve shared many brass band years, contests and performances with him. We will certainly miss him next weekend at contest. Our band offers you our thoughts and love. Lynn Welsford . Secretary Greymouth Municipal Band.

  12. Mike Hutchison

    Sincere condolences Liz, Sue, & Family, saddened and shocked to hear the news , Drew will be sadly missed as he was such a helpful cheerful person in the many fields that he was involved with, especially that of his Management of the Hokitika Airport attending to every detail. Drew will be sadly missed by all that knew him.

  13. Wendy and Gavin Fearn

    So shocked and saddened to hear Drew has passed,our thoughts are with you Liz.

  14. Murray and Marie Olson.

    Condolences to Liz, Sue, and Family, our thoughts are with you all.
    R.I.P Drew.

  15. Peter and Jeanette Howat

    Our sympathy to Mary, Liz, Sue and Ian. Drew was a special bloke and will be sadly missed.
    Peter and Jeanette Howat , Perth .

  16. Pam Sweeney

    Dear Sue Ian and Family, We are so shocked to hear you all have lost a great mate! We extend ourSincere Sympathy. Love n hugs Sue.
    Pam and Paddy xx

    • Heather Collins

      Liz and family
      I know Drew will be sadly missed, Drew was the best boss I ever had while working in Antarctica so many years ago. Reading these tributes shows he was such a people person. Liz thinking of you, especially the void that will be in your life now. How fortunate we are to have such wonderful memories of dynamo Drew, pretty sure he or you did not know that is what we called him, with the utmost respect.
      Cheers hugs thinking of you
      Heather Boulton

    • Barbara Mitchell. Whanganui

      Such sad news. My sympathy to you all.

  17. Diane King

    Sue, your Mum and family. I know how close you guys were, my heart felt thoughts are with you
    @ this sad time. Can remember you two as youngsters, you looked like twins, so can imagine
    what you are going through wee girl. Give your mum a hug from me, thinking of you all, my
    love to you all

    Diane King

  18. Adrienne Arnold

    Our deepest condolences to you Liz, Sue and families.
    Saddened and shocked to hear this news.
    Drew will be greatly missed.

    Adrienne and Tony Arnold

  19. Ian & Chantal Gardner

    Our most heartfelt condolences to you Liz.

    We are all very shocked and saddened to hear that Drew has passed away, he will be deeply missed.
    We have very fond memories of the times that we have spent with Drew and yourself over the years.
    These memories will be cherished forever.
    Our thoughts are with you and the family at this sad time.
    Ian,Chantal, Jayden and Jessa.

  20. Jenifer Clark

    Such sad news to hear of Drew’s sudden passing. Thinking of you Liz Mary Sue and Ian. Jenifer and John Clark

  21. Cheryl Hutchison

    Sincere sympathy to Mary Liz Sue and Ian. So sad to hear of Drew’s passing and the loss you feel.
    Drew was such a busy man who achieved such a lot. He will be sadly missed by you all and Hokitika
    Cheryl and Brian

  22. Jill & Simon Robinson

    RIP Drew 😪🙏
    Shocked and devastated at your sudden passing.
    A wonderful boss and work colleague. An incredible man whom I’ll miss dearly, our bus job just won’t be the same without you, neither will our end of term coffees, at Diceys..
    Our thoughts are with Liz, Sue and families..

    • Margaret Martin

      Th Mary, Sue and family. So sorry to read of Drew’s passing. Our thoughts are with you all at this sad time
      Margaret & Scott Martin

  23. Karl Koch

    We were so very sad to hear about Drew’s sudden passing Liz.

    We always enjoyed Drew’s company. He had a great sense of humour, and was always enthusiastic and positive in everything he did. A lovely person and very talented. You could always have a great conversation with Drew and he was very knowledgeable and interesting to talk to. We will remember him fondly and the good times we had over the many years.

    Our thoughts go out to you and Drew’s extended family at this very difficult time.
    Karl, Julie, Adam & Selena Koch

    • Robyn Dowell

      Drew our lake kaniere neighbor always ready to lend a hand, always being friendly and paying attention to my Grandsons and children when they stayed at the lake. We will miss you.

    • Graeme Jackson

      Condolences to Liz,and Drew’s families at this sad time,Fly High with Blue Skies and tailwinds….

  24. Cedric Trounson

    My condolences to Liz and extended family. I have known Drew since 1990. He will be sadly missed

  25. Karen Murphy

    To Liz, Sue and Ian, i was saddened to hear of Drews sudden passing. So pleased we caught up in recent years. Death leaves a gap no one can seal, love leaves memories no one can steal. Thinking of you all as you learn to navigate thru this sad time. Karen Murphy

  26. Donna Kersten

    Shocked to hear of Drew’s passing. Thoughts are with you all.

    • Murray and Trixi Montagu

      Liz,Sue and Ian, so saddened to read of Drews passing. Very special memories of Brass Band days together.

  27. Lynn Welsford

    On behalf of the Nelson Marlborough West Coast Brass Band Association id like to pass on our condolences to Liz and family. Many messages have been received tonight from other bands acknowledging Drew’s 50+ years service to brass bands. He will be greatly missed.

  28. Russell and Kay Mitchell

    Mary , Sue and family , our thoughts are with you all .

  29. Trish McCormack

    So shocked to hear about Drew and sympathy to Liz, Sue and family. Loved having you both as neighbours at the lake Liz and remember Drew buzzing overhead in his microlight. Such a personality with a wealth of stories.

    • Shona and Murray Marshall

      Saddened to hear this very sudden news of Drew’s passing. Thoughts go out to his mum Liz, Sue and families💕 69 was far too young to pass and it shows we must embrace every day. Xx

  30. David & Abbie Provis

    Our heartfelt condolences Liz and family at this extremely sad time.
    Words can not express our sympathy for you all.
    Drew was such a lovely man and did so much for the community of Hokitika.
    He will be truly missed by all.

  31. Geoff Howat

    To Liz Mary and Susan. I was sorry to learn of Drews sudden passing. He certainly was a highly respected citizen. My thoughts are with you all. Geoff Howat, Prebbleton

  32. Jennifer Roberts

    To Liz, Mary, Susan and extended family, so sorry to hear that Drew died suddenly, my heart felt sympathy to you all at such a sad time love too you all Jennifer

  33. Doug and Jan Sowman

    Just heard the sad news of Drews passing, our sincere sympathy to Liz, Mary,Susan and families. Drew was a great citizen of Westland and will be very much missed.

  34. Tim Shaw

    So sad to hear. Drew was a gentle soul, kind and generous. And fun. He will be greatly missed. Rest easy.

  35. Judith Schroder

    To Mary, Sue and family
    We are so sorry to hear that Drew has passed away. We are thinking of you at this very sad time. With much love Judith & Kevin Schroder

  36. Rangi Campbell

    On behalf of the Hokitika Westland RSA, we would like to express our sincere and deepest condolences to the Susan, Liz and the Howat Whanau on the sudden passing of Drew. His past services and attendances at all the RSA commemorations will be sorely missed. Thinking of you all at this time. Rangi Campbell (President HWRSA).

  37. Alister and Helen Creamer.

    Condolences to Mary, Liz, Sue and Ian. Sad and unexpected news. I know Drew will be greatly missed. Our thoughts are with you all.

  38. Rose Keenan

    Mary, Liz, Sue & Ian, thinking of you all after your sudden & sad loss of Drew. RIP

  39. Grant Hinchliff

    Drew contributed to the lives of so many! He will be missed by many organisations and individuals Peace.

  40. John & Jane Hinchliff

    Drew, thanks for the 3 Pass trip, the two Brass Monkey and ESSB rallies, the microlight flights, and the brilliant Precision Helicopters rescue from the Hoki river. You’re the top of the pyramid cuzzie; sadly miss you.

  41. Alison Ewing

    Much love to Liz, Mary and Sue and all the cuzzies. We won’t forget Drew’’s sense of humour, microlight lolly drops up the Styx, early morning flights and bike missions stopping in Hamilton.
    So much to remember and miss.
    Love Mark, Alison, Isobel, Jack and Harry Ewing

  42. Angela Bradley

    I played in the Hokitika band with him years back he was one of the good guys ❣️

  43. Bryan Jamieson

    Sincere condolences to Liz and family for your sad loss.

  44. Ann Bradley

    Rest in Peace, Drew.
    A valued member of our Community, you were always cheerful and positive in the many roles you took on.
    My condolences to Liz and all of Drew’s family.

  45. Jeff Sherman

    Sincere condolences to Liz, Sue and family, Drews passing is certainly a shock and he will be sadly missed. RIP cuz.

  46. Marieann Keenan

    Mary, Liz, Sue and Ian
    I was shocked to hear of Drew’s sudden death. I know how close you’ve always been Sue and send love and sympathy to you at this very tough time. It’s a loss for your whanau and the whole community.
    Marieann Keenan

  47. Cheryl Oldham

    Liz we are both in shock!
    Our thoughts are very much with you and we will miss Drew being around.
    Cheryl and Mark

  48. Marion and Graham Smith

    Arohanui to you and yours Liz. Such a loss. Drew was an awesome work colleague and an amazing person. We so enjoyed his company and his wicked sense of fun. Fly well our friend.

  49. Rona Gooch

    So very sorry to learn of Drew’s sudden death. We extend our sympathy to
    you, Mary, Susan and family
    Rona Gooch (Thorn) and Dale Winn (Thorn)

  50. Gary Howat

    My condolences to Mary, Liz, Sue and Ian. Drew was a wonderful person who contributed so much to the community over many years. Thinking of you all on your sudden loss.

    Gary Howat. Adelaide


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