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Obituary: Robert Mervyn (Yeti) Hills

Sat 5 Mar 2011 In: People View at NDHA

Robert Mervyn (Yeti) Hills R.I.P. Tranny Granny Jacquie Grant mourns the loss of one of Auckland's more colourful gay characters. Robert Mervyn Hills (Yeti to his many friends) passed away peacefully shortly before 6pm yesterday after a short illness. Aged 69 and some months, Yeti was well known on the early Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington gay scenes from the early 1960s and lived in the Herne Bay/Ponsonby area for the last 20 or so years. In later years he worked at the pool hall in K' Road where he was well known and much loved. Yeti was one of the first people I met after arriving in NZ in 1963 and we have been the best of friends ever since. He was OUT!, LOUD! and larger than life, tall and big boned well endowed in the hairiness stakes, hands and arms like hams and with a fog horn of a voice. No one took him on and all us dainty little things walked the streets of those cities with impunity when the Yeti was with us, even when he had his beloved little miniature Pug dog tucked under his wing looking so obviously gay. No one dared. Yeti was an obvious gay man in the days it did not really pay to advertise ones Gayness. He was imprisoned on at least two occasions in the bad old pre-law reform days, for buggery and indecent assault... once for 18 months and the second time, from memory, for 12 months. Yeti was involved in some of my early ventures. The Golden Egg in Wellington and Lady Jack’s and The Empire Room in Auckland, back in the 70’s. Then, as friends do, we tended to drift our separate ways for many years but always caught up a few times a year and of course there were lots of phone calls. Yeti had a huge circle of friends and acquaintances all over Auckland and seemed to have the ability to touch a huge number of people. He is survived by his sister Margaret and brother Gordon, and of course his huge gay family. A funeral notice should appear in a few days and maybe I should try to arrange to have a drag show at his funeral - he would have thought that was so camp! - Jacquie Grant     Jacquie Grant - 5th March 2011

Credit: Jacquie Grant

First published: Saturday, 5th March 2011 - 1:52am

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