Alexander Kirkpatrick Obituary 1971

Alexander Kirkpatrick OBE

Co-founder and first Lindisfarne College Chairman, 1953 – 1971.

Born a true Hawke’s Bay hero of the 20th century, Alex Kirkpatrick was born in Ireland in 1898 and emigrated to NZ at the age of 5. Married to Alice McCorkindale, they had a son, Douglas Callum.

Mr Kirkpatrick played 12 matches for the All Blacks in 1925-26 and was captain of the HB Rugby team during its golden Ranfurly Shield era in the 1920s, playing in 22 of the 24 successful Shield games during their 5-year tenure as holders of the Shield.

He worked his way up the ranks to become General Manager of the Tomoana Freezing works in 1929 and remained in that role until he retired in 1964. Mr Kirkpatrick had a reputation for knowing every man on his permanent staff by their Christian name and was also renowned for never having a strike at the plant, during an era when strikes were common place in most industries.

In 1946 Mr Kirkpatrick was among those who decided to establish a Presbyterian Social Support Association and was heavily involved with the St Andrew’s Church in Hastings. He had a real hand in establishing the Order of St John in Hawke’s Bay and rose to become Chancellor in 1967 – the top executive in the country. Alex was a Knight of the Order of St John. Mr Kirkpatrick was Hastings Councillor from 1941-65 and Deputy Mayor of Hastings for 18 years from 1947 and was honoured with an O.B.E. by the Queen in 1965.

Through his astute business acumen, his strong Presbyterian faith, his devotion and dedication to the College that he helped to found and fully establish, Mr Alex Kirkpatrick placed the Kirkpatrick stamp firmly on Lindisfarne’s development, its character and its ethos, during his years of service.

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