• Patrick Allan (Pat) Samson, JP

Obituary: Pat Samson

A man of dignity, compassion and dedication with an overriding commitment to justice – By Ken McKay

I was a friend of Pat Samson through both of us being Judicial Justices of the Peace (JPs). Our friendship defied logic as we had opposing views on politics and religion but luckily the JP Constitution forbids discussion on those two topics but there is plenty to talk about such as sport, horses, and the merits of a good wine

Nothing exemplifies Pat’s tremendous range of skills than the development of the Milford Mall Justice of the Peace Service Desk. Whilst at a Royal Federation Conference in Tauranga Pat heard from a visiting JP from Queensland how they had set up service desks in Malls and Libraries in Australia. He came back from the conference and started negotiations with the owners and staff at Milford Mall to start a Service Desk there. He was successful thanks to the Mall owners and Staff, illustrating his negotiating skills with those people. He started with a staff of himself and one other JP. On that first day in May 2010 we had our first and only client.

But the number of clients and staff of JPs grew until we had a group of 16 JPs willing to assist which illustrated Pats ability to have excellent relationships with others to recruit and maintain staff for the desk. Today we have between 60 and 80 clients every Thursday with two JPs on each two and a half hour shift. Pat also negotiated a grant from the Tindall Foundation to provide for the staff to have drinks whilst on duty. His negotiating skills were again to the fore. This is a small issue but shows that he looked after his staff and his fellow JPs were loyal to him. His organisational skills were to the fore in all this work.

One cannot leave this part of his JP work without emphasising his tremendous ability to read people in all sorts of situations a skill that not many people have. He was able to use that skill as a Judicial Justice of the Peace in the courts for minor hearings. He was also Roster Officer for the North Shore Court, a job that required tact and skill that he always seemed to have at his disposal. 

One other part of Pat’s JP work was as Auckland Regional Rep on the Royal Federation of New Zealand Justices where he achieved the difficult feat of bringing the four areas of New Zealand closer together and he worked closely with the past and present President’s of that body. At his forced retirement for health reasons he held the position of Deputy President of the Royal Federation and would have been voted in as President in 2020 but it was not to be.

The other aspect of his life was his love and loyalty to his family particularly as far as I was concerned his grandchildren. He was quietly proud of their achievements. He and Sylvia have a lot to be proud of in their family life.

On Thursdays between 5.15 and 6.30pm some JPs met together for a social hour and the favourite tipple was Chardonnay. We shall be unable to drink a glass without a toast to Pat and we shall still remember him as we reorganise the world from the couch.

Farewell Pat you will be missed – Ken McKay.

Patrick Allan (Pat) Samson, JP, passed away on Friday 11 April 2019. Pat’s life was celebrated at Mass at St Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in Milford on Wednesday 17 April.