Well-known Wairarapa lawyer Jock Hutchison died on 30 June 1982 after a long illness, which he never let stand in the way of his practise of law. He was aged 44.
Son of Sir Douglas Hutchison, he was educated at Christ's College, and practised in the Wairarapa after gaining a degree from Victoria University.
A tribute to him was held in the Masterton District Court, presided over by District Court Judge B Kerr. In paying tribute to the late Mr Hutchison, Judge Kerr said:
"I would like to join with you in paying tribute to the late Mr John Douglas Hutchison. The District Court Judges of the Wellington region, most of whom knew him as a personal friend, have asked to be associated with my remarks.
"It was my pleasure to have known Jock Hutchison, as you have referred to him, from University days. It is pleasing to see so many members of the profession in the Wairarapa District and his family and friends here today.
"I am able to speak on a personal plane because I knew him at a time when he was an outstanding sportsman. He had come from school in Christchurch and was known to his friends as an excellent rugby and cricket player.
"After he settled in the Wairarapa district he participated in a wide range of interests. He was widely known and respected in the district. He was able to continue his cricket interests and took part in the cricket matches between the Wellington District Law Society and the Wairarapa Law Society.
"He was well regarded, along with Judge Jaine, as one of the co-organisers of the 'Last Resort' Golf Tournament. It was only injury that prevented him from succeeding at a higher level in sport. It was, in face, a rugby injury that caused the termination of his cricket career."
Judge Kerr referred to the affliction that he suffered in recent years, and said it was during that time that he demonstrated his great qualities.
"Some men are able to leave their mark in a short life span," said the Judge.
"Jock Hutchison was one of those. We all respected him as a professional colleague. He had inherited that integrity which is the hallmark of the profession from his late father, Sir Douglas Hutchison. He had a warm understanding and excellent judgement. In his appearances before this Court and other Tribunals, he had the ability to get to the point and concentrate on the essential issues. In that respect, he was a model for others.
"We all remember him as a man of the highest quality and an inspiration to others. His passing is a great loss, not only to his wife and family, but to the whole of the Wairarapa region. I endorse your expressions of sympathy and extend my sympathy to his wife and children, his partners and to the profession generally. We will all remember him as a man of quality. He will be remembered forever with real affection and the greatest of respect."
The Court then adjourned as a tribute.
This was first published on page 3 of the July 1982 issue of Council Brief, the monthly newsletter of the Wellington District Law Society.