Tributes

of

BRUCE'S FRIENDS AND FAMILY
BELOW ARE THE MESSAGES THE FAMILY HAVE RECEIVED FROM ALL THAT HAVE BEEN TOUCHED BY BRUCE'S LIFE.
If you would like to contribute we would love to receive your memories to bruceculpan@gmail.com
Pravin
Gleneth (Laery) Ramsey
Noeline and Max Weston
Shirley Willmott (nee Lighton)
Scott Milne
Greetings,

I would very much appreciate being told when the memorial for Bruce is being held.I was one of the “Boys and Girls” who regularly had Friday night drinks after work (1978); and later bought Wylies Pharmacy across the road and enjoyed many very happy years in competition and mutual support. He was certainly a big part of my pharmacy life in the ‘80’s.

Many thanks,
Scott
Auckland Joggers Club
Last year at our AGM, we elected Bruce Culpan as one of our Life Members.

Sadly, Bruce passed away last week in a rest home at Cambridge.When elected to Life Membership, Bruce was the last of the originals – those who responded to Colin Kay’s message and met in Cornwall Park to get fit back in 1962 – the group that became the Auckland Joggers Club. Many of our longer standing members will remember Bruce, and when the opportunity comes to celebrate his life, we will be there to share our memories with his family and friends.

We have been in contact with Bruce’s family, and passed on our condolences.
Nicky Rijns
Hi Jane,
I heard your Dad passed away and I just want to send my condolences.  
You had a really wonderful father. May you know peace and comfort now. We are all talking about Bruce and remember him well. The residents do send their love. We will especially remember him at Christmas time with his favourite song, oh come all ye faithful. You take care.

Big hug, lots of love,
Nicky.
Rosie Darling
Oh Jane, I'm so sad to hear Bruce has passed, and that it was such a difficult time.  thank you so much for letting me know. I have so many funny and sweet memories of him,  he has a very special place in my heart.
A big adjustment and change for you all, you are a wonderful family, you all have Bruce's warmth, generosity and zest for life.
Love to you all in the sad days ahead XX

Take care, Rose xx
Robyn Bridgman
Dear Members of Bruce’s Family,

I email to say how very  sorry I was to read of the death of your very dear father Bruce.  He was my pharmacist for over 40 years.  Such a lovely man – he always had a beautiful smile.  Nothing was ever too much trouble for your father.  He was really an institution in Remuera.There is little I can email.

Yours sincerely, Robyn Bridgman

PS  I am sorry but I wrote a letter then did not know where to send it so this is in its place.  R.
Lyndsay and Paul Joffrey Birnie Farrands
I write to express my intense sadness at the death of someone I teased as “Brucie”.  I was his customer and hopefully friend, for a number of years.  I moved to St Vincent Avenue to live after the end of my first marriage so my children could be closer to St Cuthbert’s, Kings School and the train to Kings College.

I used to take huge delight on entering Brucie’s pharmacy, calling out:  “Brucie!  I’ve come for my fix!”  I wish you could have noted the expressions on the faces of the gently reared Remuera matrons at having Mr Culpan addressed in such fashion.  I had no such qualms.  By this stage I had entered into a wonderful relationship with a colleague of Bruce, Paul Farrands, who had owned for many years a large pharmacy in Royal Oak still called to this day: “Walls & Roche”- as it had been known for decades already.  Paul and I were married in the Chapel of Kings School in 2001 by Warner Wilder who was the then Chaplain at Kings College and a close friend and mentor to both Paul’s family and mine.  Paul, Joe McMenamin, Bruce and I would often chat outside the pharmacy in Remuera Road.  Joe was a prominent contributor to the local and Olympic fraternity and was a great friend of Dean John Rymer.  There is quite an underlying story around the fellowship of these men.  I vividly remember when June died:  her photograph was published in The Herald.  We were all struck by her great beauty.

I had thought I remembered Bruce living in Clonbern Road and much later, thought he had gone to live in St Vincent.  I was surprised that his death notice showed he had latterly lived in Cambridge.  I do so hope he was happy and contented there.  He was such a fun person to know in his pharmacy on Remuera Road.  I endured a great deal of pain and was prescribed heavy pain- relieving medication – hence my reference to needing “a fix”.  Bruce always had a huge laugh every time I would storm into his pharmacy, jokingly demanding my fix because we both got off on laughing at the consternation on shoppers’ faces- how common or how crude would have been their thoughts.

Well now Paul and I have moved to the Ryman “Evelyn Page Retirement Village” after 20-odd years of a blissful existence on the Coromandel Peninsula.  Like Bruce, Paul trained in the old school of making all his own tablets, capsules, potions, lozenges, etc. with a great wealth of basic health knowledge.  Those days are long gone sadly, but we remember with great warmth and love the special people we have been privileged to meet in our lives like our Bruce.  Vale Bruce.  Virtus pollet.
David Bullen
Hi Sarah,

Very sorry to read of Bruce passing. Thoughts are with you and your family. Bruce was one of a very small group of Pharmacists who quietly and unknowingly shaped my career. I remember fondly my dealings with him in the early 90's. I really respected him and am sad he has passed away x
Paula Siddle
Hi Jane,

I have just learnt that Bruce passed away the other day. I was always meaning to go and see him when he moved to a rest home in Cambridge. For 7 years that he was under my care at 7 St VINCENTS, I remember him as being a man of strong character, always with sense of humour despite his increasing dementia. He was great person and one to be very proud of. Take care and remember all his good qualities: he was a pleasure to have him in the village.

May he RIP Regards Paula Siddle
Bronwen and Tony Brooke
Dear Jane Nigel Sarah Phillip and Families.

We are so very sad and sorry to hear the sad passing of your Dear Dad. Thank you Jane for letting me know and always keeping in touch.You have all been thought of being such a lovely family. Your Father always spoke so highly of you all.Have just spoken to my friend Joan and Rosemary Stein who both send Deepest Sympathy to you all. Even a friend Peter Jackson has just rung me to tell me re Bruce he and your Dad always played Squash together.So lovely you were able to have Bruce near by to you all for those months. I remember what a great sportsman Bruce was so many sports over the years. Rosemary and i were saying what an amazing 80th Birthday party Bruce had such a grand event. Take care of yourselves with our Very Deepest Sympathy I will miss a very dear friend. Jane if at a later date you will have a Memorial Service could you please let me know.

Love Bronwen and Tony. Xxxx
Buster Young
Hi Nigel,

I was sad to see your Father has passed away and to say my thoughts are with you in what will be a sad time. I well remember your Dad's gentlemanly and kind manner as a Pharmacist. He held extra status in our house from his rowing reputation. Our son Andrew was a West End Rower and as a bit of rowing history 'nut' knew of West End's contribution to the 1950 (eight) and '54 (Four). I trust the happy memories of your Father will be of some comfort during this difficult time.

Regards, Buster
Sue Cooke
Jane, Nigel, Phillip, Sarah and Families It was a real pleasure to know your dear Dad.. Bruce. My over-riding memory of him was his ready smile and happy demeanour. I still remember the first holiday to Hahei in Easter 1982.. and the many more holidays over the years there.. as we grew up.. I also remember the summer job working in Remuera Pharmacy.. and still cringe at the advice I gave customers about make up..  really knowing so very little! I will have a Gin and Tonic tonight, and remember your Bruce!

Sending you all lots of Love, Sue Cooke xxx
Jackie McCabe
I was a nurse for Drs. Richwhite & Peterson whose surgery was above Culpan Chemist in Remuera Road.  Dr. Richwhite had immaculate writing, Dr. Peterson not so!  It was a constant headache for prescriptions to be  identified and translated and only Brice Culpan could manage this.  A true genius.  We were constantly in his debt and he always obliged with humour and patience.  A truly lovely man and a pleasure to know.

Jackie McCabe
Marcus Stone
Dear Jane

We have just heard that Bruce passed away yesterday.  That’s certainly the end of an era.

Bruce and I had a wonderful working relationship.  We enjoyed many happy years together professionally and multiple entertaining conversations, as you can imagine.

He was a very capable clever businessman and successful pharmacist.  He was also a very supportive landlord!

We, all here at Remuera Medical Centre who knew Bruce well, pass on our condolences to you and the family

With warmest regards
Marcus
Colin Green
Farewell Bruce, from fellow Westender and crew mate 1950/51 eight, Colin Green,now a resident at Hilda Ross retirement Village Hamilton with wife Raie.

We have all had a great innings, and reflect often on our crew successes (and parties !)    R. I.P.   Bruce
David Gaseltine
OHHH Jane I am so sorry. My heart goes out to you and your family. That is such sad news and I will miss him even though I haven’t seen him for a while - he was such a legend and I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for him. Sad sad day 😟

I’ll have the pic of Bruce that we have in the dispensary in our shop window with a little note of how much he will be missed.
Thinking of you all and want to send all my love and best wishes.

I always said “remuera grew up around Bruce, Bruce didn’t grow up in remuera” A true icon that is sadly missed.
Joanne Wills
Hello Jane and family,

Rob and I were saddened to hear from Nigel of Bruce's death.

What a lovely man he was and he enriched our lives over the last several years.  Mum loved his cheekiness and bright personality.  She would sit in the communal area and enjoy the passing parade of her friends each morning.  Bruce wouldn't disappoint with his reference to whether she was behaving and always greeted her with warmth and cheerfulness.  We were privileged to share the very gracious 80th birthday celebration at Mantell's when we learnt so much about his life.

Bruce was deeply loved by his family and friends, he had the respect of his community and had a successful and rewarding life in so many areas. We are proud to have known him.

Our deepest sympathy to you all,

Joanne Wills
Bryan Cossey
Hi Jane & family
It is with great sadness that I saw the death of your dad. I have fond memories of the days we stayed at your family bach in Hahei in the early 70s, hence I had to go and fine some photos of those good old days. You probably won’t know me from those times but you might remember Ray & Mary Easteal who were great friends of your parents and at the time I was dating their daughter Kay who I did marry and we had two children but have since divorced. In the top photo is your Mum, Mary & Ray at the rear but I do not recognise the front two. Your mum is dancing with Owen Easteal and that’s your Dad brushing his teeth – he must of said something or did something for me to take a photo, I cannot remember. I didn’t realise your Dad was living at Te Awa otherwise I would have paid him a visit as we are currently living just down the road where we have been for the last 27yrs.

Kind Regards
Bryan Cossey
Rosemary Steane
Hello Jane,

Bronwen Brook rang me today with the news that Bruce died yesterday.
Please accept my condolences.

As you know, I worked with your father in the 1970's when you were all still at school. It was a busy pharmacy where we all worked hard. The staff all got along well together and I have happy memories of that time in my career.

Having been in Remuera for so many years, your father had some great stories to tell about the goings on in the area. Stories I will never forget!
I used to go and visit your father occasionally, at 7 St Vincent although not in the last couple of years.

Jane, your father lived a very full life with some amazing sporting achievements.

He always spoke very highly of you all. He was very proud of his family.

Please pass on my message to Philip, Nigel and Sarah.

My thoughts are with you all.

Rosemary Steane
Warwick Dugdale
After reading of the death of Bruce Culpan, one of West End Rowing Club’s ‘ greats’ and also the stories in the Bruce Culpan website some memories of those 1950’s times were recalled,  I hope clearly,  after 65 years.

Reading some of Bruce’s escapades reminded me of an off season episode that involved Bruce and in which I had an onlooker involvement.
I cannot recall the background but on a mid-year weekend a group of us were at Westhaven probably carrying out maintenance on our boats.  There was a reason I know not what  -  to go to visit the St Georges rowing club on the Tamaki Estuary and on the way back the Auckland Rowing Club when it was near Mission Bay.

Kerry Ashby (Koke) owned a large black two door Ford Coupe similar to what the NZ Transport Officers (Traffic cops) patrolled the roads in at that time.

Seven of us crowded into the vehicle, four across the front seat and three in the tight area at the rear. Kerry was driving, Bruce Culpan alongside him and I think the other two were Murray Ashby and possibly Bill Tinnock.    In the ‘dickie seat’ were I think Bart Delfos, Gordon Angus and myself.

As we were driving along Tamaki Drive Kerry, while jammed up against the driver’s door was having difficulty reaching across Bruce to hold the steering wheel. He told Bruce to take over the steering and the gear lever while Kerry continued to worked the pedals - accelerator and the foot brake.  And that is how we travelled back to Westhaven.  Kerry speeding up or braking in a hap hazard way to ‘tease’ Bruce who was making a sterling effort to keep us on the correct side of the road.

For us younger fellows squashed behind the front seat it was a hilarious trip along Tamaki Drive, through the CBD and up College Hill past the “Gluepot” and down safely  to the old club house on Ring Tce..   Did we do crazy things in those days?   Yeah - Nah.
I may be wrong but I recall Bruce may have had the nick name “Jelly bean”  or “Jelly” but for what reason I never knew.

Ake Ake.      Warwick Dugdale.
Margaret Bell
To all  Bruce Culpans Family,

Firstly l would like to say how sad l am to hear of the passing away of Bruce and would like to extend to all his family my greatest sympathy. My loving thoughts are with you all.

My name is Margaret Bell but l was Margaret Maltby when l went to work for Bruce at Remuera Pharmacy as his last apprentice pharmacy student. It was a lucky break for me as l was going back to school for a 7th form year when my aunt heard that Bruce was looking for a female pharmacy apprentice and had invited me for an interview!! I duly went and was offered the position and spent the next seven years of a wonderful career working in his Pharmacy.

I shall never forget my first day! A young 16 year old and he had provided me with a new terelyne uniform so l could launder it easily at home. However disaster struck when he asked my to make up a gentian violet solution which l managed to spill all down the front of my new uniform .Shock!! Horror!!But. Bruce was as ever in control and l was washed down with dilute hydrochloride acid which turned the gentian violet green then more acid and it went yellow then finally removed the stain altogether and l was able to use that uniform all my days at Remuera Pharmacy.It was a very busy time in my life working all day and going to night classes at tech and also correspondence assignments. During that time Bruce modernised the Shop and Dispensary a number of times and the business grew and grew. He was a wonderful Boss with a great sense of humour and a real feel for his customers. He quickly got to know them as friends and there were many who came in just for a chat!! Having lived all my life in Remuera l also knew a lot of people and it was nice to walk along the street when so many greeted one.Jane, you were a baby in the pushchair when l first started and so l also saw the births of Nigel and Philip but had left before Sarah was born.

Bruce loved sport and after rowing with such success became a VERY enthusiastic Jogger.Looking back l could not have had a better employer than Bruce who taught me so much, was always a gentleman with a great sense of humour and a real gift of friendship  to all who entered his shop. I was sad to leave after 7 years working for him but did go back and relieve for him when he took his family away on holiday until the time came and l started my own family.

Bruce gave me a wonderful start in my career which continued until l retired at 65 after having worked part time at the Mercy Hospital for 28 years.

Margaret Bell
John Berrill
TO THE CULPAN FAMILY

It was with a heavy heart that I went to bed after hearing the sad news of Bruce's passing and  then I reflected back on the great times and laughter Bruce and I shared, during our  pharmacy days.

Going back  over some 25 years or so, Bruce and I would meet at the Commerce Club, now the Remuera Club, about once or twice a month and chat over a beer or two on what was happening in  pharmacy, and though Bruce had an extremely successful business, I was always interested in his ideas he initiated during those initial days in Remuera, to what it is today. His marketing ideas were very much in line with what Chemist Warehouse is doing today.

Bruce in his cheeky way, endeared himself to both customers and wholesale reps. in many different ways and got away with it!!.

My twin brother Owen, worked for Bruce in the mid. 60s after coming back from his OE, and I was quickly introduced to the Friday night ritual of a 'g & t' , before going home!!!.I I was practising at Birkenhead at the time. and couldn't get over the bridge quick enough, so as not to miss the goss.!

And it was during these sessions that Bruce mentioned Hahei, and extended an open invitation to go down whenever it suited!

And so I was introduced to the absolute  magic of the Lockwood home overlooking a most magnificent beach, which has now become for Mary and me, an annual pilgrimage, with much gratitude and  thanks to the Culpan families over these many years!.

My condolences to you all.

God bless

John Berrill
Owen & Elizabeth Berrill
Well it gives me great pleasure to recount some of the fun times I experienced when I came back from my OE in 1967.

I started at Bruce’s Pharmacy when Remuera Market day was in full swing…busy,busy…I loved it.Bruce knew his customers by name & would give me a short BIO on who they were.A lesson I leant from Bruce……try to remember their names!!!

One day just before closing, a chap came in and asked for 2 pks of Durex.The drawer was just next to the dispensary,and when I reached down I got a squirt of water from a syringe which Bruce had just filled!!! The customer said….. gosh you’re perspiring a lot!!!

Always on Thursday night when we had closed, out came the Sps of Juniper. The odd Dr would pop in if the dispensary lights were still on!! More glasses. Bruce never ran out of the necessaries!Bruce was a very generous employer…especially letting our family use the Hahei Reach resort.At the time I was working in AK and rang Bruce to find out if the Helicopter would be OK to land outside, before going onto Whitianga. No problem just make sure that the Dutch neighbour is informed…bingo….the neighbour was out with his video when the ‘copter returned to pick me 2 up days later!!

Another time on a Monday I rushed off to work ,only to find out that it was a statutory holiday!!I thought at the time, those lapses of memory occurred later on in life!! Bruce’s pharmacy made me look forward to catching up with what happened over the w/e before other staff arrived!!

To Jane, Nigel & Philip…… our deepest sympathy on your loss, but his love of life will always be remembered by those who worked with him.

Best wishes
Owen & Elizabeth Berrill
Lesley Smith
Dear Bruce. You will never be forgotten. You had that wicked sense of humour that everyone loved. It was a real pleasure to have known you. You loved singing. Especially Christmas carols. At Easter time. RIP mate. Love to all the family.

Lesley Smith
Dale Griffiths FPS MCNZCP RegPharmNZ
Chair Centenary Organising Committee
To the Culpan Family,
Please accept my condolences on the sad passing of Bruce.  I will miss Bruce and was only thinking of him a few days ago.  I talked to David at Remuera Pharmacy about Bruce, about 12 months ago when David told me Bruce’s health was failing.  
My first memories of Bruce was at PSNZ Branch meetings when I entered the profession, he never lost his interest in the profession and in the changes it was going through.
My relationship with him continued at MAGS, pursued by his wry comments when he saw me at the Old Old Boys lunches, as not only was I involved with the School in a number of roles, but because of my role as President of PSNZ.  Bruce and Bill Tinnock would grill me whenever they got together.
I’m sure you will all miss him greatly. I have posted on the Old Boys Facebook page, and you can see from the attachment, there has been a quick reaction.

ngā mihi
Dale Griffiths FPS MCNZCP RegPharmNZ
Chair Centenary Organising Committee
Susan Ravlich
Dear Jane you probably wont remember me but I was your families Karitane Nurse when Sarah was a baby Back in those days I was Susan Beckett.. I came and "cased" for your family numerous times. I am so sorry to read of your Father's  death. I remember him and your Mum very well. I used to come and look after you children and cook the meals something I loved doing. Your Dad would jokingly say that he could tell when I was there as the quality of the meals went up. I remember how your Mum loved to shop. She would take advantage of me being in your house and go shopping lots.

I have just read Bruce's memorial page and he lived a very full joyful life.

Please pass on my condolences to Nigel, Phillip, and Sarah.

Regards  Susan Ravlich
Sam & Margaret Troughton
Bruce the true gentle man, who loved to socialise & have a good laugh. His family was so special to him & he shared his beautiful beachouse in Haihei with us all “ great memories to treasure forever”
Rest easy, your work is done” your legacy will live on in the hearts of those left behind.
Sam & Margaret T  Xx
Warwick Dugdale
To the Family of Bruce Culpan,  

The following are the words of the West End Rowing Club song the  members of my day sang when crew mates got married and sadly  when one of our number passed on.    Sung to the music of an old rugger song I believe, and the words were strung together I think by Kerry Ashby, one of the Club stalwarts who rowed in crews stroked by Bruce at the club and at Empire Games.

As one of the younger members of West End at the time, I was always impressed by Bruce’s fellowship with all members of the club and we had some fun times together.   The song below brings back many happy and at some times emotional memories of West End and West Enders. Regrettably many of us will not be with you to sing the ‘Club Song’ for Bruce but we will be there with you all in spirit, to honour one of those fellows we all looked up to.

There’s a sort of fellow feeling,
That is hard to understand
And yet somehow it is plain enough to see.
It is born of united endeavour
And will live for evermore,
Wherever there’s an oarsman with an oar,
But there’s not quite the same spirit,
As you’ll find out Westhaven way –
When Westenders get together, they all say.

To the memories of the old ones
And the oarsmen yet to come,
To the dear old rowing club we know so well.        
See the Black and Whites assembled,
With our voices raised on high,
And the magic of our singing casts its spell.
And we’ll sing to coach and coxswain,
Who are with us all the while,
And the comrades that we row with mile by mile,
And we shout out ‘Ake Ake’
While life and lung give zest,
To go on and not forgotten by the rest.

Refrain:
With a swing and a sway
And the hands fast away
On we’ll row
And a bell note each blade
As they bite through the spray
Dip    Way    Slow.
And when the crew work is over and done,
Whether the races were lost or were won,
We will remember the feel of the oar,

EVERMORE.

With sincere sympathy,

Warwick Dugdale.   Club member 1955 >  +
Lynley Twyman
I was telling Robyn my bubble buddy about Bruce’s passing and she relayed this story.

Robyn was working for Bruce as a very naïve 14-15 year old when a customer requested condoms...  At that stage she had no idea what these were, she said it was the quickest and most direct Bruce had ever been in taking over looking after that conversation .  (This would have been around 60 years ago, so times were very different)

Robyn remembers him fondly.

Thanks and regards
Lynley
David Vallance
Hi Nigel

Thank you for the email. Sad news but I’m sure there is also some relieve for the family. I imagine the hard part for your family will be not being able to have a normal funeral in these times.

Please pass on the club’s thoughts to all your family. Bruce was a very well respected and key member of West End RC.

Kind regards
David
Maryam Tirol
Hello Nigel,

to hear about this. Our deepest sympathy to you and the whole family. It was great knowing Bruce for a while, he's one of those residents I will always remember with a smile. May his soul rest in peace.

Thank you for letting us know.

Will let them know at work.

Warm regards,
Maryam
Earl Irving
President, Auckland Joggers Club Est 1962, the world’s first joggers club
Dear Nigel,

On behalf of Auckland Joggers, I wish to pass on our sincere condolences at the passing of Bruce this week.
 
As you know, the club extended Life Membership to Bruce at last year’s AGM, in recognition of the fact that he was the last of the original members who met with Colin Kay in 1962, and started this club.

When I read out the citation to the AGM (see attached), I noted that I was perhaps one of the few who could actually remember Bruce in his running days with us.

He was such a strong man, in heart and deed, no doubt brought about through his prowess in rowing. When the Sunday pack returned to the club, the pack leader would set us free to run the length of Puriri Drive at our own pace. I’m now in my early 70’s, just to give you an idea of the age difference, and Bruce would regularly beat me back to the clubrooms.

He was also noted for his generosity when the club held one of its three annual competitive events, providing many items from his pharmacy for spot prizes on the prize table.
 
For you and your family, this must be a very trying time. The passing of a loved one is always trying, but the current lockdown provisions must complicate matters considerably.
 
Thank you so much for letting me know – I will inform the members when we next meet, which of course has been put on hold until we get down the Alert Levels.
 
To all of Bruce’s family, our very best wishes as you work your way through this sad time.
 
Kind regards
Earl Irving