(58) Dominick Paul Copinger
Dominick Paul Copinger, known as Paul, second child and eldest son of Walter Patrick and Phyllis Copinger was born on 31stMarch 1943 at Cheltenham near to where his father, an R.A.F. officer was stationed.
In 1947 the family, which now included John, moved to Norwood Green, Southall, Middlesex, into a house bought by Paul’s grandfather, Harold Bernard with funds from the Walter Arthur trust.
Paul’s childhood memories of school are few, an indication, he suggests, of a lack of scholastic achievements to come. He fondly recalls the pleasure of buying newly baked miniature Hovis loaves on the way to school for a penny farthing. In those pre-decimal days there were 240 pennies (1d not 1p) in a pound and there were four farthings to a penny.
A change of school a little before the 11 plus examination was to blame for Paul’s subsequent failure of the exam, which sorted out the scholastic wheat, who went to the Grammar school, from the scholastic chaff who, like Paul, went to Featherstone Rd. Secondary Modern School.
In November 1958, six months before his G.C.E exams, the family moved to Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, when his father was posted from Heathrow to Prestwick Airport to control North Atlantic air traffic. Paul saw this as an ideal opportunity to leave school, arguing that the difference between the English and Scottish school syllabi would make it impossible for him to pass exams after only six months.
His first employment was as a baker’s apprentice. Starting at 7am his duties included making cases for scotch pies, inserting jam into doughnuts and stoking the coke (known as “char”) fired oven. After two weeks, and with a starting time of 5am looming, he left.
Paul’s next job was as a Junior Sales Assistant with Ayrshire Wireless Services Ltd., a radio and T.V. retailers. Here 17” televisions were rented out from 9/6d (47.5p) a week and radios from 1/6d (7.5p) per week. He eventually managed the sale of Hi-Fi equipment in newly opened premises.
Outside work, Paul’s activities included playing second cornet in Kilmarnock Borough band and drinking ice cream drinks and playing the juke box at Marino Benedetti’s café. He was the member’s secretary of Kilmarnock Youth Club representing them in national organisations and represented Scottish Youth Clubs in England.
In November 1967 Paul developed an interest in Elizabeth Haynes Turner, of the accounts office staff. They became engaged on New Years day 1968 and were married at Loudoun Old Parish Church, Newmilns, Ayrshire on 31stMay 1968 and moved to Kidsgrove, Staffs.
Paul’s next job, having been given the choice of potteries or computers, was with International Computers Ltd. creating production documentation. After some months he was moved to be responsible for the provision of engineering documentation for the use of the field engineers installing and maintaining computers at customer’s sites. The instructions filled a box 3ft X 3ft X 3ft!
In 1969 Paul and Elizabeth moved to London where they rented a flat in Streatham High Road, S.W.16. In 1970 Elizabeth became pregnant and, on her birthday, February 16th1971 gave birth to Patrick Stephen Alexander Copinger.
In 1972 the family relocated to Folkstone from where Paul commuted to London each day and where, on 3rdFebruary 1973, their second son, Paul David Alistair Copinger was born.
After three years in Folkstone Paul obtained a job back in the Kidsgrove factory as a co-ordinator of development projects and the family moved to Rode Heath in Cheshire about 10 minutes drive from I.C.L. Three years later they moved to Kidsgrove and after a further four years they decided it was time to return to Scotland.
Paul started working in Glasgow in November 1981 for Y-ARD (Yarrow-Admiralty Research Department) initially in the marketing department and the family moved to 65 Dean Street, Kilmarnock.
In 1984 Paul’s sister Ann showed him an article in a dog magazine written by a Raymond Coppinger of Amherst College, Massachusets about a project he was undertaking with Maremma dogs. She wanted to know where Ray Coppinger fitted into the family. Paul didn’t know so he wrote to Ray. Thus started a search, which continued and in 2005, consisted of a database of nearly 10,000 people.
In 1985 Paul was requested to provide a secretariat facility for a monthly progress meeting between the Ministry of defence, its main contractor building a submarine and a defence software company, CAP Group. The meetings were normally held in the New Malden offices of the CAP Group and started at 9:00 a.m. This meant that Paul had to travel down the night before to ensure being at the meeting on time. For most of the duration of the contract Paul took a day’s leave the day before the meeting and travelled down first thing the day before. He then spent the day in St. Catherine’s House in London going through the indexes of births, marriages and deaths for all the Cop(p)inger back until the national records began in 1837. Having completed this exercise after many months he moved on to Somerset House and collected information on Cop(p)inger wills. He had got back to the beginning of the 19thcentury by the time the contract was completed. These visits helped considerably in the family research. Paul and Elizabeth launched the Cop(p)inger Family Web Site <copinger.org> which published a much extended internet version of W. A. Copinger’s History of the family.
Paul’s next move of position in the early 1990’s was to maintain various systems for what had become BAeSEMA formerly part of British Aerospace. His responsibility was to maintain and operate part of the time recording system.
In 1997 Paul suffered a severe attack of pancreatitis and spent five months in hospital. No reason for the illness was ever found.
An active member of the Scottish Episcopal Church in Kilmarnock, in 1998 he came to the notice of the congregation when he proposed a change in the method of participation in the Eucharist. His attempt to change from “intinction” when the wafer is dipped into the wine to the traditional drinking of the wine was not successful that year but having been noticed by the congregation he was elected to the Vestry Committee. A few months later, due to the illness of the Covenant Co-ordinator he was persuaded to take that post eventually becoming Hon. Treasurer of he Church. A post he held from 1999 to 2005.
In 2002 Paul was appointed Rector’s Warden of the Holy Trinity Church.
Paul was also Hon Treasurer of the Kilmarnock Branch of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution from 1999 to 2005.
Having got in the habit of being in hospital every 3 or so years Paul visited his GP in February 2004 with a cough that was lingering. One thing led to another and after a lot of tests and the insertion of two stents, the first plastic which worked for two months and then a titanium one which was quoted as lasting much longer (it lasted two weeks) the consultant performed a Segment III hepatico jejunostomy, or in English, a bile duct by-pass. While the Consultant in the Glasgow Royal Infirmary was performing the operation he had a good look round. It appears that the blockage was caused by a tumour on the pancreas. Due to the state of the pancreas after the pancreatitis, and the position of the tumour the consultant advised Paul & Elizabeth that it was inoperable. Paul got out of hospital on 7thSeptember 2004 and subsequently went back to work, despite the company doctor's advice.
Paul's health eventually deteriorated and he died on 2nd December 2005.
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