Cyril Spottiswoode Moy HOPKIRK & Dorothy Kate SAUNDERS

Cyril Spottiswoode Moy HOPKIRK was the son of  John Brown HOPKIRK and Emily PILCHER

Cyril was born October 30, 1894 in Hamua, near Pahiatua, New Zealand and passed away on September 25, 1987 in Hastings, NZ.

Dorothy was born 28 November 1889 and passed away in 1965.

Cyril and Dorothy had 4 children:

Their son: John Samuel Hopkirk, born 18 November 1922 and passed away on 24 September 2017 at the Bob Owens Village, Tauranga

Their daughter: Mary Alice Hopkirk, born 12 May 1925 and passed away on Tuesday 8 January 2019.

Their daughter: Patricia Hopkirk, born 31 May 1927 passed away on 2 May 2013. Patricia married John Newton

Their son: Alan Cyril Hopkirk, born 21 November 1928 and passed away on 13 JUne 2020

Cyril was director of the Animal Health Laboratory at Wallaceville (near Wellington, NZ) from 1923 to 1945. He had an international reputation, mostly as an authority on bovine mastitis. His thesis following years of research earned him a Doctorate from the University of Melbourne. During his time at Wallaceville, the staff grew from five to seventythree, so there was a lot of administration. He was an expert and intuitive veterinary diagnostic pathologist.

View the Hopkirk Research Institute at Massey University, named after Cyril Hopkirk

Official Biography: Dr Cyril Hopkirk.

C.S.M Hopkirk, O.B.E., E.D., D.V.SC., (Melbourne) M.R.c.v.s., F.A.N.Z.A.A.S

Dr Hopkirk gave extraordinarily long service to veterinary science and animal production.

He joined the Wallaceville Animal Diagnostic and Research Laboratory in 1912 as a laboratory assistant, after spending three years as a cadet in the laboratory of the Biology Department of Victoria University College.

After war service in Palestine, he entered the Melbourne Veterinary School, graduating B.V.Sc. (first class honours) in 1923.

Shortly afterwards he was appointed Officer in Charge of the Wallaceville laboratory, a post he filled for 21 years.

During his time at Wallaceville he encouraged the growth of the original small staff to an active and well-known group of 86, before his retirement.

He also made notable contributions in research, particularly in the field of bovine mastitis.

Dr Hopkirk was among the first to realise the importance of the new antiseptics and the role of hygiene in the control of mastitis on the dairy farm. He also initiated studies on the use of the quaternary ammonium compounds.

The role of the milking-machine as a factor in mastitis also interested him. He was the first to publish evidence that the stability of the milking-machine may be a factor in irritating the udder.

Realising the deficiencies of the ten current diagnostic methods available in the mastitis field, Dr Hopkirk, developed his gravity cream layer leucocyte assessment technique.

For this work, together with studies related to other animal diseases, he was awarded the degree of D.V.SC by Melbourne University.

Dr Hopkirk resigned from Wallaceville after the Second World War and worked internationally as a Senior Veterinarian in U.N.R.R.A.

He was concerned in the rebuilding of veterinary services, and the institution of new ones, improving animal husbandry methods and the establishment of disease control measures in several countries.

Later he was leader of an FAO mission in Ethiopia. As well, he served in London as Veterinary Officer to the High Commissioner, where he played an important role in recruiting veterinarians from Europe for service in New Zealand.

On his return to this country, despite advancing years, Dr Hopkirk continued to act as a consultant to Tasman Vaccine Laboratory.

In 1959, he accepted a temporary lectureship at Lincoln College for two years.

He went on to hold the position of Research Officer primarily concerned with the control of brucellosis and mastitis, with special reference to town milk herds.

As a veterinarian, Dr Hopkirk played a significant role within the profession, holding the presidency of the New Zealand Veterinary Association on three occasions. He was Honorary Secretary for 12 years and a councillor.

He was a Foundation Member of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production and was elected Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Agricultural Science in 1967.

He is widely known and respected for his practical papers on farmers' problems.

Following is the speech given by his son John Hopkirk on Wednesday, 20 April 2005, at the ceremony to launch building of the Hopkirk Research Institute, held at Massey University. The building will house about sixty research workers, and be equipped to state of the art standards. After the plans were unveiled, CyriI Hopkirk's eldest son, John, was invited to speak of his father's career.

Introduction: greetings:

Prof Judith Kinnear, Hon Steve Maharey, Dr West, Prof Guilford, Dr Hein, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen

It is an honour to be invited as the eldest son of CSM Hopkirk to represent him and his four children at this function.

My father disliked public speaking enough to become good at it. He endeavoured to spread the results of the Wallaceville work to a wide audience of those it most concerned, the farmers of New Zealand, and those who serve them.

Although a research scientist at heart, there were always three facets to his labours.

First, he was an expert and intuitive veterinary diagnostic pathologist. Wallaceville became a centre of excellence from its earliest establishment. Examining specimens from nationwide required the development of histological and bacteriological facilities. As specialists in different fields were employed, the scope extended --- Hoppy liked to understand the research projects as they developed. To be available as an adviser to junior staff was a continuing joy.

Second, The increasing size of Wallaceville, the daily correspondence with the World, the administration, and the problems of a stringent budget, especially in the 1930s, left little spare time.

Thirdly, therefore, only later in the day, and after dinner with the family at night, could he return to his own project, the long term research which sought to control the hugely expensive burden of mastitis in the dairy herd of New Zealand.

Such a lifestyle demanded close support from his wife, our mother, support which was always available ? to this partnership can be attributed the subsequent success of their family.

Conclusion It remains for me to express our expectation that those who will work in the Hopkirk Research Institute may be endowed with the genius for research --- a genius which can only partly be taught and learned, but with which some human beings are equipped from birth.


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This page last updated on 20 June 2020