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Obituaries Archived July 2013

Timothy Duffus McFARLAND    (No. 756, 1945 - 1952, Dungannon, Head Prefect, 1st XV, 1952 Dux)

Timothy McFarland arrived at Dilworth as a timid little boy, delicate, blond, chubby, affectionate, and the antithesis of the generally accepted requirement of a macho sporting star. Instead, he sought the company of boys whose strengths and interests were intellectual, musical and cultural. His high-pitched voice and avoidance of the rough and tumble of the harsh Dilworth boarding school life in the immediate post-war period led him to become the butt of physical and psychological bullies. Tim gradually gained acceptance through his other personal qualities, although he never came to terms with being at boarding school. He entered Dilworth as the only son of a widowed father, with one other daughter. But Tim’s view of Dilworth was not enhanced when he was summoned to the Headmaster’s study to be told bluntly that his father had just died, having taken his own life. The only comfort offered was to be advised by the Headmaster (Basil Wakelin) to go and ask the Matron for a glass of warm milk and then return to class. 

    Tim’s academic abilities were such that he was, in effect, an intellectual genius. Already a year younger than his classmates he was advanced another class because he was light years ahead of everyone else. Even then he continued to outstrip his fellows in every subject. Manfully, if somewhat diffidently, he participated in compulsory sports and, while he did not achieve much recognition for this, he was certainly applauded by his Dungannon House comrades for adding to the Cockhouse annual totals with his top academic placings and by winning debating, current events and signaling (semaphore and morse) competitions. He was the inaugural winner of the Beattie Memorial current events competition and his results in this and in the Stewart Memorial signaling trophy competition have never been surpassed. His performance as the mannered, effete Algernon Moncrieff in the school production of The Importance of Being Ernest in 1952 is still remembered by fellow cast embers as an outstanding portrayal. In his final year he was Head Prefect and won a National Scholarship and a Lissie Rathbone Scholarship for history. The latter was a particular achievement because Tim did not have a history teacher and was completely self-taught. He was just 16 years old.


At Auckland University he specialized in German and English. Asked why he chose German ahead of French (in which he had won his scholarship) when he did not even have German at school, Tim replied simply that he needed a new challenge. He won Senior Scholarships in German and English, the prestigious John Tinline Scholarship in English and a German Traveling Scholarship. After completing his M.A. with 1st class honours in German in 1956, and still only 20 years of age, Tim left New Zealand to continue his doctoral studies at the University of Munich, where he was funded by an Alexander Humboldt Scholarship as well as financial assistance from the Dilworth Trust Board. Tim was in fact the first Old Boy to receive Trust Board support for tertiary studies (the sum of £150) ...... and also the last until the late 1980s. Tim’s specialist field was mediaeval German literature. At the completion of his doctoral studies at the University of Munich he was offered a lectureship and remained in Germany for the next 6 years. It was an interesting time to be in Germany as the defeated nation struggled to rise above the horror of the war brought upon Germany and the world by Hitler. He frequently wrote back to Dilworth letters which were published in Diworthians of the late 1950s. In 1965 he moved to Britain after winning a lectureship at the prestigious University College, London. He remained there until retirement five years ago, publishing many books and papers and endearing himself to generations of students by his enthusiasm and wide knowledge. He is survived by his wife Jenny. Obituaries have been published in “The Independent” and “Guardian” newspapers in Britain (see links below).


Guy George DODSON    (No. 765, 1946 - 1954, Tyrone, Prefect, 1st XI cricket, 1st XV, 1954 Dux)

Guy Dodson died in York, England, last Christmas Eve after a brief illness. It was just a matter of weeks after he had been profiled on this web site with brother Maurice as a pair of Dilworth’s most distinguished sons. His death has robbed the world of an internationally recognised scientist, renowned as an x-ray crystallographer and noted for his research on the three-dimensional structure of biologically important proteins, particularly insulin. His ground-breaking work was rewarded when he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1993, an honour conferred on just a handful of New Zealanders, including Lord Rutherford. 

     Guy and his identical twin brother, Maurice, were born in Palmerston North in 1937. Their parents emigrated to New Zealand from London in 1926, seeking a better life as bee-keepers, but were hit hard by the depression in the early 1930s, and subsequently by the onset of the Second World War in which their father served as an army chaplain. In 1945 the family moved to Auckland, where they were challenged by an acute housing shortage and unemployment for returned servicemen. In 1946 a partial solution was found when the boys won places at Dilworth. The 1940s manifestation of Dilworth was a far cry from today’s modern structures, magnificent grounds and attentive caring teachers. The best that could be said of the school is that it was a brutally harsh environment, where school buildings were simply a motley collection of old wooden farm buildings hastily adapted for temporary educational ends, and where only the fittest survived. However, history will relate that some of the most outstanding Dilworth graduates, in all fields, were produced in that frail and inadequate physical plant. Guy and Maurice adapted readily enough and in short order began to display their intellectual and sporting talents. Although their peers could readily tell them apart, staff always found distinguishing one from the other a challenge.

  In virtually every respect, what is said about Guy applies equally to Maurice because as identical twins they also shared identical talents and qualities. They both acquired a love of debating, cricket, history and science, together with a healthy disregard for authority (this, in spite of later being school prefects). They particularly admired their senior mathematics and sciences teacher, Donald Gray, who encouraged lateral thinking, logical reasoning and intelligent questioning, rather than the simple memorization of facts. They were also admirers of Mrs Eve Russell (later Mrs Ron Bush) who instilled in them a love of history and an appreciation of world interaction and political matters. In their final year at Dilworth the twins won all the senior academic prizes and Guy was Dux. They won full blues for cricket, were enduring members of the 1st XV and won the House and individual debating trophies. The multiple Cockhouse wins of their House, Tyrone, were in no small way due to their exceptional contributions in sport, debating and academics. As school prefects in their final year they were agreeable, fun-loving companions in "The Hangout" and contributed enormously to their school. In the photo above the 1954 prefects, left to right, are Tony Dick, Roger Pye, Guy Dodson, Murray Wilton, Maurice Dodson, Frank Moller and Graeme Mossman.

    During their time at Dilworth their older sisters, Anne and Deirdre, married and provided the twins with two surrogate older brothers: Bob Gudex, a junior doctor, and Ranginui Walker, a teacher. Both brothers-in-law later became distinguished members of their professions. The whole family was then, and has remained, very close. The 16-year-olds were even taken on one sister's honeymoon! 

    At Auckland University Guy chose to study chemistry where, in particular, he enjoyed the courses in crystallography taught by the eminent scientists David Hall and Neil Waters. Maurice chose mathematics and later completed his doctorate in number theory at Cambridge University in England. When he graduated in 1957 Guy toyed with the idea of studying law, but quickly realized it was not for him. Professor Hall agreed to accept him as a PhD student to undertake the X-ray analysis of a plant alkaloid found in the New Zealand bush. He remained eternally grateful to his tolerant supervisor, who gave guidance, support and crystallographic training while turning a blind eye to the impromptu wild episodes which punctuated lab activities.

   After completing his PhD at Auckland in 1961, Guy went overseas to widen his experienceDorothy Hodgkin (at right), later a Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry, accepted him as a post-doctoral fellow at Oxford University, a move which transformed his life. The revolution in the development of protein crystallography was gathering pace, and he became Professor Hodgkin’s partner in the successful solution of the structure of insulin in 1969. At Oxford Guy met and married Eleanor, an Australian researcher. The laboratory was an exciting place for young scientists as advances were made in the biology of insulin and its role in medicine. Guy's research has been richly vindicated by the development, in collaboration with the Danish drug company Novo Nordisk, of several billion-dollar insulin-derivative drugs.

    In 1976 Guy and Eleanor moved to the University of York to set up a new laboratory where their respective talents reached maturity. Guy’s enthusiasm and openness, his generosity of spirit, and his willingness to devote his time to assisting and advising others, attracted many researchers to York, making it a powerhouse in structural biology. The move also re-united Guy and Maurice Dodson and their families, because Maurice was already a lecturer in the Mathematics Department at York and eventually became a full professor and Head of Department.  Although they were by now well settled into UK academic life, they remained close to their antipodean roots, helped by the fact that York became the centre for visits by family, friends and old Dilworth schoolmates.  

    In 1993, Guy agreed to help establish a structural research division at Britain’s National Institute of Medical Research, adding strength to their biomedical research on malaria, tuberculosis and the structure of prions, the active agent in Mad Cow Disease. He was internationally sought after as a reviewer, a doctoral examiner and visiting speaker. He never abandoned his high standards, worked hard on community projects and remained true to his sympathetic understanding of human fallibilities. Today researchers around the world carry the benefits of their association with Guy, dubbed the “crystal gazer”, and an abiding affection for him. Guy’s widow, Eleanor, holds a chair in chemistry at York and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society for her own research in macromolecular crystallography. Surely a unique situation for a husband and wife to be able to add the prestigious letters F.R.S. after their names? 

    At the Dilworth School Centenary celebrations in 2006 Guy and Maurice were keynote speakers at the magnificent Centenary Dinner. They regularly returned to New Zealand on academic and family business, inevitably catching up with old school friends. Guy’s links to Auckland were re-affirmed when he was appointed Visiting Professor at Auckland University in 2007. His last visit was in February-March last year and Maurice was in Auckland in March-April this year for a family gathering to pay tribute to Guy. Guy is survived by Eleanor and their four children and three grandchildren, and by Maurice and his family, their sisters and their families. 


                                                                          -- Eleanor and Maurice Dodson


[An obituary for Guy Dodson in the British  “Guardian” newspaper can be found at this link:]

Also, a Memorial Website has just been set up by York University containing many interesting photos as well as links to other obituaries in newspapers and learned university journals:

Hamish COULTER    

(No. 2494, 1989-1994, Donegal)  It is with considerable regret that we report the death of Hamish Coulter on 23 February 2013, having lost a stoically fought battle with cancer.

Hamish and his younger brother Bevan (No. 2708) came from the family farm on the west side of Taupo. The outdoors and rural life were always in his blood.  Even as a boy at Dilworth, it is reported that he had a critical eye for the way the school grounds and playing fields were being looked after.

Hamish got himself involved in a variety of aspects of Dilworth life. His love of the outdoors continued with his interest and involvement in Scouts and Venturers and the Sixth Form Kaimanawa Ranges tramp. His eye for detail, his organisational skills and his leadership qualities saw him appointed as Deputy Head of Armagh House and a School Prefect in his last year.  Many a younger boy learned that one did not mess with Hamish Coulter!!  He had a strong love for rugby and he enjoyed  playing rugby, reaching 1st XV status in his final years at Dilworth.

After Dilworth Hamish went on to study at Waikato University where he completed a Business Studies degree. Whilst at university he gained a position as a house tutor at Southwell Preparatory School. Hamish undertook a GAP year as a house tutor at Bryanston School, near Blandford Forum, Dorset. [Older Old Boys will remember that the Bryanston Saga, this school's magazine, appeared regularly on the Dilworth library shelves in the 1940s and 1950s.]

On returning to New Zealand, Hamish trained to be a teacher. His first permanent position was at Chilton St James School for Girls in Lower Hutt. He then moved to Huntley Preparatory School, near Marton. It was here that Hamish found his niche. He became fully involved in school life as a housemaster, teacher and sports coach. He was even responsible for setting up gardens for the boys to learn to grow vegetables. Whilst Hamish was on the staff of Huntley School he became involved with the Independent Schools’ Education Association as a member of its National Executive. [ISEA is the organisation that represents teachers in private schools. It is the modern version of the Independent Schools' Assistant Teachers' Association which was launched at Dilworth in the 1960s on the initiative of Donald Gray.] It will be no surprise to those who knew Hamish well to learn that he was an effective member of the Executive, offering sound advice.

In the end the call of the corporate business world prevailed. In 2009 Hamish accepted an offer from the then National Bank to take up a position as a rural banker, a post he held until his death. It satisfied both his farming background and his business studies qualifications, while his teaching experience enabled him to talk easily and effectively to farmers.

     Hamish was a very black and white sort of person.  He had definite opinions and was not afraid to speak his mind. That aspect of his character is well remembered at Dilworth. The fact that some 300 people, including many of his former Huntley students, packed the Huntley School gymnasium for Hamish’s funeral is a tribute to the respect that everyone had for him. The service was taken by Bruce Owen and one of the tributes was given by John Rice, Head of the Dilworth Rural Campus. Among Dilworth community representatives were Murray Wilton, the former Assistant Bursar Ian Gillies, Bruce Barclay and his parents and many of Hamish's former class mates. Several of the tributes made reference to some of his idiosyncrasies, such as always wearing his collar turned up, his lack of dress sense and his finger-crunching handshake. Without a doubt, though, he gained the respect of all - his students, their parents, his colleagues, his banking customers and his Dilworth mates and teachers. 

     Hamish battled his melanoma disease with dignity and courage. The Dilworth community and his own family, friends and business colleagues raised a large amount of money to help fund the very expensive drug he needed. In the end the drug prolonged his life but did not save it. Even with the advantage of hindsight, we would not have deviated from the course taken to try to save Hamish's life. If we had not done so, we would always have the nagging thought that he died without a real attempt to save him. The Dilworth Old Boys' Benevolent Trust offers sincere thanks to the hundreds from the Dilworth community who contributed to such a worthy cause. There is a significant balance remaining from the fundraising and this will be added to the funds of the Trust to assist other Old Boys in distress. There is little doubt that Hamish would view this as a worthy outcome.

     The condolences of the Dilworth community are extended to Hamish’s parents, Margaret and Ian, and to his brother and sister-in-law, Bevan and Audrey.


     --- Bruce Owen


Anthony Noel DICK  

Tonmy Dick 2011

(No. 772, 1946-1954, Tyrone, Prefect, 1st XV, 1st XI cricket) On 16th August 2012 in Australia. Tony was a significant Dilworth product, a man who never lost his love for the school that nurtured him. He entered Dilworth in 1946 with Guy and Maurice Dodson, John Potter, Roger Pye, Ian Beattie, Denis Lane and other notable names. He made a very promising start. In his first year he won the class prize for Standard 1 and also the Divinity prize. Tony continued to do well academically and also, at a very early stage, began to show his considerable sporting skills. For his fellow Tyrone house members he was a precious gem whose talents led them to more than their share of Cockhouse wins. In his final year Tony was a school prefect, a standout member of the 1st XV rugby team and a 1st XI batsman of great skill. He was awarded full colours in both sports. Tony was also school boxing champion, runner-up to the senior swimming champion, and third in the senior athletics championship. As a school prefect he proved to be a very agreeable companion with his sunny disposition, his keen sense of humour and his dry wit. He was something of an expert in cracking puns .... of variable quality, it must be said.

Tony’s first employment was with Garret Davidson and Mathy, where his mother was also employed, Tony studied accountancy at night and found time for sport with the North Shore Rugby Club. He also found time for Dilworth as an Old Boys council member, and played for the Old Boys cricket club. His rugby abilities were soon recognized when he was selected as an Auckland Colt and, after moving to Napier, eventually found his way into the Hawkes Bay provincial team. He established his very successful concrete reinforcing business there and he and Margaret purchased their magnificent historic home on Bluff Hill. It became something of a drop-in centre for Dilworth Old Boys.

Although the Tony and Margaret Dick lived out of Auckland for much of their married life, Tony continued to nurture his Dilworth friendships, ‘to keep them in good repair’. On their frequent travels overseas to many different destinations, Tony always managed to meet up with Old Boys, and notably old school mates Guy and Maurice Dodson in York, England. He also managed to achieve one item on his “bucket list”, a visit to Northern Ireland to pay homage to James and Isabella Dilworth’s homeland and visit James Dilworth’s old school, the Royal School Dungannon.

After moving to Auckland in the 1990s, Tony oversaw the building of a large Umbrian-style house near Paerata, complete with imported genuine terracotta half-pipe roof tiles, shuttered windows and wrought iron balconies, a large lounge with exposed beams and enormous open fireplace, authentic Italian tiles on the floors, and purpose-built solid wooden doors. During the early stages of construction the Dicks lives with the Pyes at Laingholm. But their tenure of the Umbrian home was relatively brief. This was sold when the call to travel overcame them. Daughter Rachel and her husband Derrick were already living in the Emirates, so this became the base to work from as Margaret made some exotic and exciting trips to various countries including Iran and Afghanistan. In more recent years they became established in Saudi Arabia and Qatar as Margaret achieved some excellent employment opportunities in these countries.   Tony was always eager to look around the school whenever he was able to be in Auckland. On one of his trips from Qatar back to NZ last year, when his health was not the best, he made what turned out to be his final visit to Dilworth. He wandered around looking at the photos and memorabilia in the main entrance foyer, grinning and chuckling as old memories came flooding back to a mind that had lost some contact with the present. This is a clear indication, if we needed it, that Dilworth was deeply ingrained in Tony’s persona and meant a great deal to him throughout his life.

Tony was always a loyal friend and especially for those who shared those Dilworth years with him. When news came of his death while visiting family in Australia, the internet (Facebook and the Dilworth web site) literally buzzed with tributes.

Here are a few samples ... 

Tony was someone I felt very close to at school, and afterwards, and even though these were relatively rare occasions, we established rapport immediately. Tony was just one of the best. Tony features in my best and most anarchic memories of school and I'm sure in my brother Maurice's too. At school we had good times, sometimes difficult times together. Tony was always a real part of the action. He was more gifted than he allowed. If he wanted to do something he did it. I often found great value in chatting to him at all sorts of levels. I realize now what a sympathetic person he was and how much he will have meant to his family. I appreciate that he will be missed dreadfully .... the price of happiness. But there will be memories .... the reward of happiness I guess. Yours in shared loss, Guy Dodson (York, England)

I'm very sorry to hear about Tony.  I didn't see much of him after I left Dilworth and then NZ, but he was one of the best and I'm sorry that I didn't see more of him.   When we met up at the 2006 Centenary it was as though the years had never passed - lots of laughs at re-telling old tales and real pleasure at his and Margaret's company. How brave and thoughtful Margaret is being - and always has been, a very impressive and good woman. I'm pleased that Dilworth is proving a help and support. Maurice Dodson (York, England)   I remember Tony well and with affection!  His sense of humour and his grasp of ‘now’ and a genuinely nice guy! So sorry to hear of his passing. Stan West (Auckland)

He was a lovely man, I always remember him as being so very calm and gentle with a warming smile. And he always appeared to be so fit and healthy -so sorry to hear of the loss to his family and the Dilworth community. Andy Simpson (Auckland)   In the very first Dilworthian, I think, Archdeacon McMurray wrote about the aspirations of the founders James and Isabella Dilworth, and concluded with a powerful and moving final sentence to the effect that their greatest memorial should be the character of the Old Boys. That was the first thought I had about Tony – he perfectly reflected that sentiment. Derek Firth (Dilworth Trust Board Chairman, Auckland)

It is with sadness and much sympathy that I have read the notice of Tony’s death. Although we did not see much of Tony in the latter years, I remember fondly his visit to Taupo  where we lived, his phone calls keeping me aware of Dilworth happenings, and his genuine love of everything Dilworth. He was a fine man whom I admired  for many reasons. He will be sadly missed. My condolences to his family. Tony it was good to know you. REST IN PEACE. Bob Bennett

Roger Pye, perhaps Tony’s oldest and closest friend, provided much of the content for Murray Wilton’s eulogy at the chapel memorial service. His memories included amusing incidents at school, details of Tony’s business life in Napier, remarks on his historic Napier home, his amazing Umbrian-style villa at Paerata and his Pukawa (Taupo) holiday home.

... end of samples.

How fitting it was, then, that Tony’s last Dilworth event should be a memorial service in the beautiful school chapel, set among the ancient plantation trees that he knew so well, in the grounds of the school that has changed so much but which still meant so much to him. The chapel was overflowing with family and relatives, and with old school, rugby and business friends ... a tribute to a man who touched so many lives. Tony will always be remembered with gratitude for his recognition of the Dilworth opportunity afforded to him and which he used to the full.


The Reverend David Everson HALL

David Hall(No. 859, 1951-1956, Dungannon) on 23rd April 2011, aged 70, after a 10-year battle with prostate cancer. Following his education at Dilworth, David spent a year at Tauranga Boys’ College and then trained as a teacher. After five years he felt the call to the Anglican ministry and entered St John’s College in Meadowbank in 1965. Following graduation he was curate at St Andrew’s Cambridge and St Peter’s Cathedral in Cambridge, where he was ordained. He became vicar of St Michael’s New Plymouth in 1971 and was involved in setting up Lifeline there. The following year he married Bev Jones. His next appointment was to St John’s in Dannevirke where, among other things, he became involved in helping the re-settlement of Viet Nam refugees. From time to time, David and Bev even had refugees living with them in the vicarage. During a sabbatical in Singapore David and Bev were introduced to “Marriage Encounter” and for the next 22 years they were involved as a presenting clergy couple. In 1986 David was invited to establish a co-operating parish in Omokoroa. In the same year, he renewed his acquaintance with scouting from his Dilworth days and became a Scoutmaster. The next move in 1994 was a world away to St John’s Highfield in Timaru. Here David and Bev set up Alpha courses and in 2001 “Mainly Music” for pre-schoolers. David also found time to join a local Barbershop group. He took early retirement in 2001 after the diagnosis of prostate cancer. But he did not remain idle. Following a world trip with Bev, David enrolled in an ESOL course and undertook part-time work in a Timaru language school. He was a volunteer for the Timaru Citizens’ Advice Bureau, a continuation of his need for fulfillment through community service. David is survived by Bev, their two children and five grandchildren.




John David UTTING 

(No. 771, 1946-1951, Tyrone) on 23rd March 2011, aged 74, after a lengthy illness. John trained as a teacher but did not remain long in that career. His last-known employment was with Briscoes. Although in recent years he did not take an active part in Old Boys’ activities, he is remembered by school contemporaries as an agreeable schoolmate with a sparkling sense of humour.


Tanirau (Dan) Anderson PANAPA   

(No. 672, 1942-1949, Tyrone, 1st XI cricket, 2nd XV rugby) on 23rd April 2011, aged 78, after a long illness. Danny, as he was known to Dilworth contemporaries, was a talented all-round sportsman and a popular schoolmate. His slight build meant he never made the 1st XV rugby team, although he was always a valued team member in lower grade teams and was good enough to be selected as an Auckland Colts rugby rep. On leaving school Danny was apprenticed to BMA Construction Company and his life-long career was in carpentry. He was the younger brother of Hetekia Te Kani Panapa (No. 656) the first full Maori boy admitted to Dilworth (1941). Danny and Kani were sons of Bishop Wiremu Panapa. The Panapa connection with Dilworth has continued with Danny’s great-grandson, Jordan Young, currently enrolled as a student in Year 10 (Form 4).


Terence Edward Webb   

(No. 733, 1944-1950, Armagh) on 24th May 2011, aged 76. Terry’s first employment was in carpentry and joinery in which he served an apprenticeship. He had a mid-career change to join the NZ Police for four years but then returned to use his training and skills as a building inspector with the Manukau City Council. He retired to live in Kaitaia, and spent much of his leisure time touring New Zealand in the small Japanese bus he had converted as a motorhome. Terry occasionally attended DOBA reunions and was at the 2006 centenary celebrations.


Alan Ronald BRIGGS   

(No. 871, 1951-58, Donegal, 1st XV, 1st XI cricket) in July 2011 at Rotorua. Alan started out in banking with Bank of New South Wales (Westpac) and subsequently worked as Palmerston North manager of Henry Berry Ltd. He was the younger brother of 1959 head prefect Ken Briggs (No. 870).