Surfer killed in van fire remembered by locals
Laidback and relaxed Adam Toleman remembered by New Zealand surf community
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 29 October, 2012 : - - Friends and family of Adam Toleman have farewelled him with a fitting beachside memorial. More than 100 mourners gathered on Friday afternoon at Meatworks, Kiwa Rd, Kaikoura, one of his favourite surf breaks and the scene of his tragic death in a van fire on October 8. Tributes were paid to 28-year-old Adam who was remembered as a clumsy but happy and incredibly loving child, interested in all living creatures but especially empathetic with people.
He would talk to anyone, said his mother, Jenny, and treated everyone he met with respect. Colleagues from Craigieburn Skifield, where Adam spent the past two winter seasons, said he was known as the constant smiler, with a laidback and relaxed attitude which had to be admired. Even in the face of adversity he would remain calm and upbeat.
Adam was not one to conform, but he endeared himself to everyone who met him. Employers recalled having to train Adam to turn up for work in shoes - to even turn up at all when the surf was pumping - but they spoke with affection and had fond memories of his infectious smile and unconditional love of life.
Adam's love of surfing began when he joined his mum and stepdad for a lesson, as a teenager. He was a natural and was hooked - he even chose which university to go to based on its proximity to the surf. Adam came to New Zealand in 2006, agreeing to accompany his mother and stepfather who were emigrating, and help them settle in for a few months. He fell in love with the country, the laidback Kiwi attitude.
Kaikoura became one of his favourite spots because of its surf and beautiful scenery, including the sunrises and sunsets.
He may have lived what some would describe as an unconventional life; never happier than when he was living in a tent or van beneath the stars, waking to spectacular sunrises of which he never tired. But Adam was never one to judge others - he was highly regarded as someone who would live and let live. He had a knack of making friends wherever he went, and would remember people, even if he had not seen them for years.
Source: Stuff New Zealand
Author: Emma Dangerfield
Tags: Passages, Adam Toleman, New Zealand
Paddle Outs: Surfersvillage