The New Zealand Spinal Trust (NZST) is mourning the loss of its Patron Sir Tim Wallis. Tim was always a strong advocate for the Trust and had a lasting and keen interest in our work. His example of getting on with life regardless of his spinal cord impairment inspired and encouraged many. He was a great friend of our founder, Prof Alan Clarke, possibly because they were similar in many ways. It could be said that both men were people who spoke with exclamation marks at the end of every sentence!
Tim served as Trustee in the mid and late 90s and went on to officially become our Patron in 2012. He and his family were also generous donors to the Trust, particularly towards the construction of the Allan Bean Centre and also providing ‘experience’ auction items of ‘weekends with the Wallis family’ that always sold very well.
He was well known for many great achievements. We valued his personal support and encouragement, and that of Prue Lady Wallis, greatly. Over recent years whenever Hans Wouters, current CEO of NZST, spoke with Sir Tim the topic of exercise always came up. He exercised daily even into his 80s and believed strongly that individuals with a spinal cord impairment needed to keep up an exercise regime for their health and wellbeing.
There are numerous stories to be told about Tim, like landing his helicopter on the Burwood Hospital helipad so he could pop in and see Dr Anthony for 10 minutes. And the time that he flew a whole group of spinal unit patients down to Wanaka in his newly purchased DC3 for the day.
The sincerest condolences of the Staff and Trustees go to Prue, Lady Wallis and their sons Jonathan and Toby and families. Sir Tim is an important part of our NZST history, he will be missed and long remembered.
Photo: Sir Tim and the Tour of NZ team meet up in Wanaka 2021 (just before he took them all to lunch at his favourite local café).