CORKILL, Francis Malcolm, CBE MSc(Hons.), BE, C Eng, FICE, FNZIE (1892 - 1970)
Francis Malcolm Corkill, who died on 15 September (1970), was born in Australia in 1892 and came to New Zealand at an early age. He was educated at Wellington, Kaikorai, and Paeroa; he attended Auckland Grammar School for one year and Wellington College for three years, where he was head prefect in his final year, in 1909.
Mr Corkill distinguished himself at Canterbury University, where he was awarded junior and senior university scholarships and an engineering travelling scholarship.
When World War I started he joined the Corps of Engineers, New Zealand Expeditionary Force. On demobilisation, in 1919, Mr Corkill took an appointment as assistant engineer with the Public Works Department of the Federated Malay States. During this time he continued to show a keen interest in military affairs and was adjutant and officer commanding the Malayan Volunteer Infantry in Negri Sembilas and officer commanding the civil guard in Selangor. Altogether Mr Corkill had over 40 years active and territorial service and was the holder of the New Zealand Service Medal and the Long and Efficient Service Medal.
In 1923 he became engineer to the Opunake Harbour Board and in 1925 accepted the appointment of county engineer, Egmont County. Three years later he was appointed city engineer, Invercargill, a post he held until his retirement in 1952, when he became a consulting engineer in Invercargill.
Mr Corkill became a member of The New Zealand Institution of Engineers in 1923. He served as a member of Council from 1931 to 1941 and was elected vice-president in 1943 and president in 1944. He was chairman of the Southland Branch in 1934 and again in 1940. He was a member of the committee of management of the Benevolent Association for 30 years, from 1934 to 1964.
As a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers since 1918, Mr Corkill served as their New Zealand member of Council from 1945 to 1948. He was also a member of the Institution of Municipal Engineers and of the Institution of Water Engineers.
In 1932 he served for two years on the Rural Roads Committee and was a member of the Commission of Inquiry into the Manukau sewage treatment.
The diversity of his interests is exemp1ified by long terms as president of the University Association of Southland, of the Royal Society of New Zealand (Southland Branch), and of the Southland Aero Club, of which he was patron. He was also a member of the New Zealand Alpine Club.
Mr Corkill always maintained a keen interest in the advancement and welfare of his profession. He set himself, and demanded of others, high standards of professional integrity. His advice and opinions were sought and respected by many, both inside and outside his immediate circle and he was indeed a pillar of the profession.
Extract from New Zealand Engineering, November 1970, p 315