Jock leaves a legacy

HIGH PROFILE: Jock Hodgson was active in many fields in the Far North.
HIGH PROFILE: Jock Hodgson was active in many fields in the Far North.

The death of Kerikeri identity Jock Hodgson is a community loss that will be sorely felt.

Adrian Stanley Hodgson, known as Jock, died on January 24 at home, aged 69, after a battle with cancer.

Jock was Kerikeri's police officer in the late 1980s and continued to make an outstanding contribution to the community as an active Kerikeri Rotary Club member. His involvement stemmed from his police days when Rotarians helped him with Blue Light Discos at the High School.

With a contribution spanning 20 years and the drive, energy and inspiration he devoted to service, he earned a Queen's Service Medal.

In 1998, Jock received Rotary's highest honour, a Paul Harris Fellowship, followed by a second fellowship award the following decade.

Jock amazed people with his stories recounting his experiences as a policeman, but retaining his faith in humanity.

He channelled that faith and optimism into tireless support for others, backed by his wife Tricia.

They embraced fun and will be remembered for a number of outlandish outfits they wore to various community events.

Jock's Rotary life took him as far away as Russia where he did two trips as part of a Rotary International initiative to rebuild a Russian orthodox church near Vladivostok. He took part in a project in Vanuatu, building a TB ward at the hospital in Luganville and later a maternity ward.

Jock led a team from Kerikeri Rotary to create a carving school at Motuti Marae which opened in 2010.

The Top Energy Northern Crossing multisport event was Jock's concept.

Although his first illness meant he had to step back from the organising group and his role as the race director, he was still involved, being Tricia's support crew in that inaugural 2010 race. In 2011, he fought back from cancer and he and Tricia competed in the solo Northern Crossing event, a 108 kilometre run, kayak, cycle and run from the Hokianga to Kerikeri. They did it in 7 hours 22 minutes.

Jock and Tricia celebrated their 23rd wedding anniversary on January 1 this year. In those early years they were keen runners. Jock was instrumental in setting up and running the Kerikeri Half Marathon. He was president of the Kerikeri Striders for many years.

From running, Jock moved to indoor rowing and later to road cycling and mountain biking.

Other community projects to which he contributed were Kingston House and the Puketi Forest Trust's reintroduction of and monitoring of robins to the forest.

Jock's funeral was held at the Turner Centre in Kerikeri on Tuesday with a request for donations to Puketi Forest Trust in lieu of flowers.