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Brian Adcock

Brian Adcock, born 30th August 1939, died 1st September 2016

Our friend Brian Adcock has died aged 77 at his home in New Zealand. He was an only child and lived in Leysdown Road in Mottingham. Bomb damage to his home meant he and his mother lived with various relatives in England and Scotland whilst his father remained in London for work.  The family returned to Mottingham in 1947. He was awarded a scholarship by the Kent County Council and started at Eltham College in 1947 in Lower 1 with Miss Brown as his form mistress. The class room was to the left of the arch which led to the “Old Quad”. He left in 1958 and his memories were of a happy time, where he was taught by many talented teachers and made many lifelong friends. As part of his extra mural activities he did make-up for the Gilbert and Sullivan operas at both Eltham College and at the theatre in Bromley. He joined ‘E’ Company of the London Scottish Army Cadet Force, no doubt persuaded by “Peg Leg” Wilson, the German teacher and he went on to serve with the Regiment when he was old enough. This was a period he very much enjoyed and again made lifelong friends.
He started an indentured apprenticeship with BICC, (thus being excused National Service), and qualified as a civil engineer in 1965. BICC was involved in the design and erection of pylons and overhead power lines and, years later, when out in the SE counties, he expressed some regret that he was instrumental in blighting the English countryside!
He was married to Liz in 1965 and in December 1967 they emigrated to New Zealand sailing from Southampton on ‘Southern Cross’. He had a period with the Electricity Department then moved to Invercargill at the very south of South Island. Here he worked for over 2 years on the construction of the Tiwai Point Aluminium Smelter. After that he moved to Auckland to work on building a large underground car park, a job that turned into a nightmare with endless construction and industrial relations problems. By now he had 2 daughters, Lucy and Catherine. In 1973 he joined a group of consulting engineers, soon becoming a partner. He worked on many varied projects before leaving them in 1979. Back in London, Brian’s mother, by now widowed, was unwell and the family spent nearly a year in the UK based in Dormansland in Surrey with his in-laws, his daughters attended the local school and Brian worked as a self-employed decorator. Soon after returning to NZ, his mother moved out to join him. Brian had moved to Whangarei (about 2 hours north of Auckland) working as the PA to the project manager on what was the biggest civil engineering project in NZ at that time. This was the major expansion and upgrading of the oil refinery at Marsden Point worth NZ$ 3 billion. Even today it would be considered a major project. 
He subsequently joined a civil engineering company in Whangarei and soon became a partner. The company dealt with a variety of local projects and employed around 400 people and Brian stayed with the firm until his retirement in 2000. Professionally, Brian had joined the Institute of NZ Engineers in 1969 and he had 2 spells on the National Board. In 2003 he was made a Fellow of the Institute for Northlands and was involved in many developing and collaborative projects e.g Rotary community works. In 2015 he was made a Life Member of the Institute of Engineers, an award of high esteem. He was indeed a valued member of that Institute, always helpful, giving good advice and encouragement which enriched the lives of his colleagues. Brian was a Rotarian for many years in Whangarei and held all the various Club positions in Rotary but declined the Presidency. He was a stickler for ethics, gave good advice and counselling and readily volunteered for projects He was very supportive of young people and was a valued friend to all Rotarians.
 He followed the guiding ethics of Rotary:
1) Is it true.   2)Is it fair.   3) Is it beneficial to others.   4) Does it build friendship and goodwill.
His philosophy for life was first developed during his school days at Eltham College.
After urgent heart by-pass surgery and treatment for prostate cancer in 2002/3 Brian reassessed his life and subsequently separated from Liz in 2006 and later remarried. He became a volunteer at the local hospice in 2006 and developed and used a special skill in relaxation techniques which brought comfort to many patients. He became a keen wood turner and many of his friends have lovely examples of pieces he made.
Brian was a self-deprecating man, who had a great sense of humour, was highly intelligent and very generous with his time and money. As a young man he stood out from the crowd with his mop of red hair,  but more importantly he stood out from the crowd in general as a true and loyal friend and will be greatly missed by so many people to whom he was a very special person.
He leaves his wife Angelika, to whom he was devoted, and who cared for him lovingly throughout his last years and final illness. He also leaves his two daughters and a grandson.