Hero photograph
Ken at Travis Wetlands 2018

Tribute to Ken Ivan Cartwright, 14 Dec 1956 - 9 Feb 2020

Fiona Brownlie —

Ken Cartwright has been a kaiako at Hagley since 1991 and taught until his illness forced him to give up teaching in 2018. Ken was given a short time to live but against the odds he survived and lived his life to the fullest until February 2020.

Ken completed a childcare certificate in 1976 and then went on to become a psychiatric nurse in 1980. He worked at Sunnyside Hospital until he changed his career focus and completed a Fine Arts degree in 1989. He undertook a Diploma of Teaching in 1990 and we were lucky that he chose to take a position at Hagley in the Art department in 1991.

Ken loved his teaching role and was very sad to relinquish this when he became ill and could no longer work. Ken held the management unit for assessment in the Art department and went on to moderate NCEA Art portfolios nationally for many years. His expertise was honed over the years and the Art community has missed Ken and his ability to effortlessly make astute and accurate judgements. Ken relieved for the position of Head of Art in 2002 and he was highly organised and methodical. He took his role seriously and had a great liaison with the Art department at Christchurch Polytechnic.

Ken’s love of sport, music, film and a social drink meant that he was an active member of the Hagley social community. He loved his golf and arranged golf tournaments for the staff at Hagley. Ken enjoyed gardening, cooking and collecting art. He was always looking for objects for his ākonga to draw or paint and when they cleaned out his classroom there was enough to fill a skip and more.

Ken will be greatly missed by staff and students alike. His calm demeanor, quiet confidence, and his generosity are some of the qualities that made him an exceptional teacher. He possessed the ability to instill confidence in others, helping them to excel and gain success. We will miss Ken, his fine mind, his loyalty, his dry wit, his love of teaching and the care he gave his ākonga. Ken is at peace.