Editorial: Loss of pair will run deep

By Craig Cooper


I had the pleasure of meeting Paddy Whiu and Michael Springford.

And although I didn't know either of them particularly well, I knew them well enough to admire their very similar people skills in very different fields.

Sadly, both men passed away on Sunday.

Paddy and his wife Yvonne were members at Kamo Squash Club when I was a junior.

Later, I bumped into him in his role as an iwi liaison officer, a field in which he earned great respect. He was kind enough to flash his grin on recognising me, and ask after my family. His own family were able to gather to be with him, when, after a short illness, he passed away.

Michael's family, friends and work colleagues are dealing with a different scenario - he died suddenly. A real estate company owner, property investor and philanthropist, he was apparently fit and healthy. His friend John Banks, in reflecting on the tragic news, commented that for the first time in his life, he felt like he could not get out of bed and face the world.

"Then someone said to me - it would have been Mike - 'Get up you old bugger, we're going for a run', and I did."

Banks touched on something quite pertinent - people like Michael and Paddy have a double legacy - firstly, there is the positive impact they had upon people during their lives.

Secondly, even in death, there is the galvanising effect they will have on families, friends and workmates.

Michael and Paddy were great Northlanders - and they will always have some form of presence in our communities.

- NORTHERN ADVOCATE

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