1928 - 2007
"Bishop Vercoe was a padre in the
military during difficult times," Major
Gardiner said. "He spent his time
with soldiers in need of comfort and
in him these men found an
understanding ear and message of
hope when their families were many
Also at Padres tangi, Whakatane
veteran John Bluett said about Padre
Vercoe: "Everyone knew he would go
into the bush with his M16 rifle but he
never had any ammunition with him."
Gus Day from Rotorua said Bishop Vercoe was definitely one of the better padres
to serve with. "Most of the other padres would gap it in a helicopter as soon as
one was available but Bishop Vercoe always stayed in the field with his men," Mr
Wi TeTau Taepa, who also served in Vietnam with Bishop Vercoe, agreed Bishop
Vercoe never left his men. "He was with us for about eight weeks one time and
used to joke it was lucky we were only covering about 1000
metres a day," Mr Taepa said.
"Kua hinga te totara i te wao nui a Tane"