It was in the waters of Hawke’s Bay that a primary school pupil, Quentin Bennett, taught himself to dive.
Now 77, Bennett is being honoured with the New Zealand Order of Merit, not only for his services to diving, but also optometry and conservation.
He said he was surprised to receive the honour.
“I’m totally and utterly staggered to be honest.
“I’m normally a very private person, how they found out about me I’ve no idea.”
He said highlights of his career were working with overseas navies and diving around Indonesia and the Pacific with some of the most famous divers in the world.
Photo: Quentin Bennett is receiving a New Zealand Order of Merit for his service to optometry, diving and conservation. Photo / Warren Buckland
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Posted: 1 January 2019