Patricia HOPKIRK & John NEWTON

Patricia HOPKIRK was born at Walacevile, New Zealand, 31 May 1927 to Cyril S. Moy HOPKIRK and Dorothy Kate SAUNDERS

Patricia Newton,( nee Hopkirk)) wife of John Newton and sister of John, Mary, and Alan Hopkirk passed away on May 2nd, 2013, after suffering for some years with alzheimers syndrome.

Pat, as she was normally called, was the third in the family. born 31 May 1927 at Wallaceville, near Wellington New Zealand., where all the family were born and lived for many years. She was educated at Upper Hutt Primary School and at Queen Margaret College, a Presbyterian school in Wellington, following which she went to Massey University and studied in the Poultry Division. After graduating she worked at a local Poultry Farm before moving with her parents to England in 1947 and gaining employment on a large poultry farm in Codicote (Hertfordshire) From an early age Pat was keen on animals and thoroughly enjoyed the out of  doors with all its opportunities for exploring the countryside. She was also committed to Church and Guide activites as well as community  help projects, especially during the war years.

While in England Pat participated in all the village activities including country dancing, social events and family help projects.  She also enjoyed an annual extended holiday when she and Mary spent the time cycling all over the British Isles as well as a number of countries in Europe, and attending four Guide International camps . These were opportunities for making new friends and Pat kept in touch with many Guides over the years.  Pat eventually returned to New Zealand in 1952 to work with  her brother Alan on his dairy farm. and later was appointed as an assistant in the Poultry Division at Massey University.

Pat moved to Palmerston North and lived with her Parents who, on returning to New Zealand. bought a house in the area. Here she became actively involved in numerous activities and organizations and is especially remembered for her work with youth at St Andrews Presbyterian Church, and as a very prominent Girl Guide leader known nationally for her outstanding ability with girls and the enthusiasm she shared for the out of doors. Over the years she also opened her home to a number of students and had a real influence on their lives, many remembering her still today. After a number of years Pat met John Newton and when his job took him to Turangi eventually followed  him to Turangi where they married. Pat became the Mother to John's four children which proved a very happy relationship all round.

Pat did not undertake employment in Turangi but became a leading light in the community helping with many organizations including the Church, Girl Guides, Women's Institute  and frequently giving help to families when in trouble. Supporting John in his work they were very involved with the Conservation Department and helped with many projects over`the years including giving hospitality to overseas students and visitors.  Having always been outdoor people they continued with their daily walking and thoroughly enjoyed many trips overseas and around New Zealand visiting family and friends and exploring new venues.  Their camp a van was frequently in use and when travelling overseas, back- packs were used in preference to suitcases.

Eventually, with Pat's health deteriorating, they moved to a very nice Unit in the Metlife Retirement Village in Tauranga. Here they continued to enjoy an active life both within and outside of the Village and made many friends. The time came when  eventually Pat was unable to enjoy or participate in the activities she had loved and was moved into a very nice hospital, Carter House, in Te Puke in 2010. For a while she enjoyed and participated in activities and family visiting but eventually had to be moved into the Hospital wing. She was very well looked after but for some time has had no real reaction to life and died peacefully on 2 May  2013. John was with her. As a final farewell, one of the staff who had often talked Girl Guiding with Pat, came to the bedside and sang TAPS, the Guide farewell., a lovely and fitting farewell to someone who had given so many years to the Movement. 

John arranged a private funeral for a few family members and friends with a short but lovely service, followed by afternoon tea at  the home of Alan and Margaret. A fitting ending to someone who gave so much to so many,

Patrica Hopkirk Newton

Our thanks goes to Pat's sister Mary for supplying the above information about cousin Pat.

This page was last updated on 26 May 2013