Man's death a lesson for Kiwis

Last updated 12:30 27/02/2013
Hamish Coulter
MURRAY WILSON/FAIRFAX NZ
ADVOCATE: Hamish Coulter was a tireless campaigner for cancer research.

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A well-known campaigner for cancer research has died after a long battle with the disease.

Hamish Coulter was a rural manager for ANZ/National Bank and a was a well-known and highly regarded member of the farming fraternity in Manawatu.

Farmers say his presence will be greatly missed, especially at the Friday Feilding stock sales, where many people met him.

Mr Coulter died at the weekend, aged 36.

He had taught at Huntley School in Marton from January 2005 until December 2008, before he joined the bank in 2009.

Mr Coulter had talked of the need for rural people to protect themselves from cancer because many were out in the sun's rays for hours each day.

Giving money meant increased research into cancer and more effective medicines for patients, he said.

Mr Coulter found a melanoma on his back and, over several years, the cancer spread.

New Zealand has the highest incidence of melanoma in the world.

It is the most likely cause of cancer in Kiwi men aged 25 to 44, and men aged over 60 are most at risk.

One in 13 men will get melanoma in their lifetime, compared with one in 18 women.

In his campaigns, Mr Coulter implored men not to think everything would be all right, but to see their doctor if they were concerned about a mole.

Central Districts Cancer Society chief executive Roger Twentyman said Mr Coulter's death was tragic.

"He was so young, with so much of his life ahead of him," he said.

"There's a lesson for all good Kiwi blokes who get their shirt off in the sun and get stuck in. They are at grave risk of getting melanoma."

He said Mr Coulter was passionate about farming and rural life, and found "his dream job with the bank".

Mr Coulter died in Arohanui Hospice.

He is survived by his mother, Margaret, and father, Ian, from Taupo and a brother.

His funeral is at 2pm today, at Huntley School.

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- Manawatu Standard

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