David A.G. Hopley (SH 51-57) died on Wednesday
17 March 2010 aged 70 after a short illness from cancer. His son,
Martin, has sent the following notice:
“David followed his brother Peter to St Bees
School, but like a few others failed to respond to the higher educational
targets set by the new Headmaster, Mr J C Wykes. Being of slight build,
he was not suitable for the ‘religion’ of rugby and cricket,
so golf became David's passion.
In his first year on Eaglesfield House, one summer's day, he sneaked
out and played nine holes of golf and was back in bed well before
the 7:30am wake up call! In 1955 playing with his housemaster, David
Henderson, David holed-in-one on the 4th hole. Many years later he
discovered that he was the youngest person in the UK to record a hole-in-one.
In 1955 he tied first for Cumberland Boys’ Junior Golf at Workington
and was runner-up the next year. David was profoundly influenced by
such eminent golfers as Tom Sharp, Brian Hanson, Alec MacCaig, and
Colonel Vivian Jones and became captain of school golf 1956/57 as
well as being awarded 2nd XI cricket colours.
On leaving school he entered a four year apprenticeship with a coal
mining equipment firm and was also seconded to Essen in the then West
Germany. After having achieved a Higher National Diploma in Mechanical
Engineering, he joined Whessoe Ltd in Darlington, where he was responsible
for sales and maintenance of level gauges to oil and gas supertankers
of BP, Shell, Exxon, Mobil, as well as UK refineries.
In 1966 David married Diana (nee Clark), who had been at the same
Q.E. School in Harrogate as Rosemund Wykes. The marriage produced
four boys, who were in due course to go to George Watson's College,
David was made Senior Sales Engineer, Whessoe London in 1968 before
joining Motherwell Bridge Offshore, Edinburgh in 1974 as sales manager
for North Sea offshore modules and structures. He was also made secretary
to the United Kingdom Offshore Module Constructors Association, London,
which set parameters for UK Industry and Government participation.
By this time David had been elected a Chartered Mechanical Engineer
and a Fellow of the Institute of Petroleum. Four years later, he was
made offshore sales and marketing manager for Trafalgar House Plc,
while in the final fifteen years before his retirement, he ran his
own recruitment agency for offshore projects in the UK and Europe.
Throughout his business career David managed to play golf and represented
St Bees in the Halford Hewitt Cup for over forty years, where he created
history by being the first father to play against his son (Martin)
in the 2001 match against Watson’s. David also represented St
Bees in the Cyril Gray, the Queen Elizabeth Coronation Schools Trophy
and enjoyed joining fellow Old St Beghians at Silloth for the Critchley
He was a long time member of Gullane Golf Club and in 1997 was invited
to join the Royal & Ancient Golf Club, St Andrews, winning the
2000 McLeod Trophy and then was elected to the Club Committee ( 2001-2005).
In addition, he was also Honorary President of Caermount Golf Club
and an honorary member of Sawgrass Country Club in Florida, USA.
In his later years he was increasingly grateful for the individual
style of education promoted by the school. David is survived by his
wife Diana, four sons, Martin, Nevil, Philip and Richard and six grand