Phil Battersby

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Phil Battersby Collection


Phil was born in Christchurch on March 25th, 1949.  He was the second child of Fred and Doris Battersby, joining his older sister Karen.  Home was in Avondale and Phil fell in love with music at the age of eight after taking a few guitar lessons at school - the beginning of a lifelong love with music and performing.  After six lessons he was hooked and from there on he taught himself how to play by imitating the musicians that he looked up to.  He continued to improve and build his confidence as he performed during his school years.  Fred was a butcher by trade and when Phil left school he followed in his father’s footsteps and began working as a butcher at the MMM butchery in Brighton Mall, but outside of work he formed a band called The Opposition and they began performing regularly at The West Melton Hotel and at the Bush Inn Courts - the place to be in 1970 and The Opposition were a very popular band performing on Friday and Saturday nights and playing to packed rooms, the kind of crowds that would be a health and safety nightmare today!  The group also performed at Rock 'n' Roll competitions and for private functions.  Phil was in his happy place when he was performing, and music gave him a lot of great times and allowed him to make great friends throughout his life.


The Opposition - at The Bush Inn Courts   —   Phil Battersby, Dave Diver and Peter Hansen


During these band years Phil met Janice.  They bumped into each other one day at the train station.  Janice was from Cobden on the West Coast and was working at Hannahs shoe store in Christchurch.  Phil may have had a couple of drinks under his belt but he was immediately drawn to Janice saying to her 'where have you been all my life?'.   His charm worked its magic and he and Janice began courting. From then on, they were two peas in a pod, doing everything together.  They married on March 6th, 1971 when Phil was 21 and Janice was 20.  Initially they lived with friends in Beach Road before moving into a place of their own in Parklands.  It was there that life changed for them when Tracey was born in December of 1972, with Jared following in July of 1974 - the Battersby family was complete.  Phil and Janice were thrilled to be parents and like everything else in their lives, they approached parenthood as a team.  Phil's health began to hold him back and his mobility was affected as time went by.  He may have slowed down but he certainly didn't stop.  He had his family and many good mates, and Phil never ceased to be the outgoing person that he had always been.  Phil was reunited with Janice on March 29th, 2024, just a few days after celebrating his 75th birthday with family.  Although his life was not perfect (he had his fair share of hardship and struggle), he often said that he had had a blast living his life.  After turning 74, he said to Tracey 'who would have thought I’d live this long?'.  Phil will be missed by his family and friends who fondly remember the man who loved to share music, fun, and joy with everyone around him.