Vivien Angus was born into a family of the law, her father Quentin practising at Waikanae/Otaki and later in Wellington at the Railways Department. She was educated at Khandallah School, Onslow College and Victoria University. At these places and throughout her life she was surrounded by friends who were inspired by her wit, loyalty, sense of humour and great courage in the face of a debilitating illness.
Vivien joined Perry Wylie Pope & Pope in December 1980 as a law clerk and was admitted to the Bar in February 1982. It was here she met Roger Guy, who had joined the firm in 1972 and became a partner in 1977. Overcoming other romantic competition within the firm and the intense interest of her work colleagues, love blossomed and Vivien and Roger married in October 1983. Vivien left the firm sometime during 1982.
During her time at Perry Wylie, it was recognised that Vivien did not have great physical strength but had huge determination to overcome all odds. She had inherited this from her father, Quentin Angus, who had championed the cause of the physically disabled in securing access to buildings and public transport.
Vivien became great friends with two colleagues at the firm, namely Sally Cagienard, a promising solicitor, and Monique Palamountain, a law clerk. Vivien, who was the least robust of them all, suffered the loss of both of them within a very short period. Sally was tragically killed by a rock fall in January 1984 and Monique died on 17 October 1984 of cancer.
As Roger's wife, Vivien continued her association with the firm when it merged with Castle Pope to become Perry Castle and later Macalister Mazengarb Perry Castle. In later years Vivien was a contributor to Butterworths Current Law. She gave generously of her time, energy, intelligence and legal skills, particularly to Wadestown School on the Board of Trustees. Her sharp perusal of contracts and asking of searching questions was noted at her funeral. In her work she was always concerned to achieve clarity and common sense and a result which was useful to the end user, be they a fellow practitioner or a school child. Such result was always more important to her than the time expended or reward received.
Her love of words was evidence in her fondness for literature, her shunning of political correctness, and the frequency of her telephone conversations. Vivien maintained a keen interest in both the legal world and other people's lives.
Roger died suddenly and tragically on Boxing Day 2000. Vivien died of cancer on 14 July 2004, aged 46. Vivien and Roger are survived by one son, Sam, now at Scots College, who has inherited their love of reading, debating and the law.
This obituary was published in Council Brief, the monthly newsletter of the Wellington District Law Society, in the September 2004 issue.