In the paper on Saturday there was this funeral message:
Ott James Malcolm (Malcolm):
Malcolm passed away very peacefully on the evening of Sunday, May 2, 2021, in his home at Holly Lea. Loving husband of the late Paree for just on 60 years, best friend and adored father of Andrew and Bebaki, son of the late William Alexander Ott and Marjory Forsyth Ott (nee Dobie), beloved brother of Bruce. Special thanks to Dr Mark Cohen and all the wonderful and caring team at Holly Lea. Messages may be sent to Malcolm Ott Family, PO Box 36600, Merivale.
When I was Mayor there were a few people who were on the “must-get-to-know” list. Early on this list was Malcolm Ott. This senior Chartered Accountant was a leader in so many fields. He was a distinguished professional. He was important in the business community. He was a patron of the arts. He was patron and trustee of too many other organisations to list them here.
Malcolm Ott, and a few other public minded individuals, saved the Theatre Royal when it was about to be pulled down. They bought it for $180,000. 18 individuals were convinced by Malcolm that they should all lend $10K each to save the building. Eventually every one of them gifted their “loan” to the Theatre Royal Trust.
I served on a board with Malcolm and he was one of the people who taught me how to manage a Board, from the side. He had a wonderful sense of humour and a strong will that was covered in a shrug of his shoulders as if he was going along with the majority if that was everybody’s desire…
Malcolm was for many years the chair of the Seattle Sister City Committee. He often told the story of the Chair of the Sister City Committee in Seattle. It was Bill Gates senior. Malcolm was staying with Gates Snr on one of his visits. Gates Snr was lamenting that Bill Junior had dropped out of Harvard and was playing around with those computer things.
Malcolm kept his interest in this very important Sister City link until he died.
Pam and I had a large place in our hearts for Malcolm’s wonderful wife, Paree. She was small in stature and massive in personality. She was more than a match for Malcolm and could hold any person in their place if she felt they needed to be challenged. I just loved her and was so sad when she died. Paree had saved an old Christchurch City Council fountain which she had found in a council yard. It was in their garden and I had a deal with her that if they shifted from their home, it was mine. I wanted it for High Street as that was where it had been originally.
Miles Warren beat me to it when their house was pulled down after the earthquakes broke it apart. It’s now at Ohinetahi. I guess its back in public ownership.
Recently Malcolm met a friend of mine. They were discussing another mutual friend. They both felt that this friend was pre-occupied with death. Malcolm’s thought was that there were far more important things to spend your time on, than worrying about death. A realist until the end.
Farewell old friend. This is a better City because of people like you, and what you poured back into it. Your friendship was important to me and probably thousands of others.