A service will be held at St Patricks Cathedral, Auckland today at 2.30pm for Paul Reynolds, a pioneer of the internet in New Zealand, and one of its most respected advocates until his untimely death.
The Scottish expat died in Auckland Hospital on Sunday after a short illness caused by undiagnosed leukaemia.
Just days before, he had spoken at an industry conference on social media with his characteristic humour and intensity.
Mr Reynolds was the co-founder and managing director McGovern Online, one of New Zealand’s first web development shops.
Through his long-standing spot on Radio New Zealand, and various print and TV appearances, he became one of the highest-profile commentators on our internet scene - always mining the latest technical developments for their cultural and social potential.
In 2005, Mr Reynolds was appointed to the New Zealand Government Digital Strategy Advisory Group. He was also adjunct director to the National Library of New Zealand; a member of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Science, and sat on the board of the Auckland War Memorial Museum.
Author Chad Taylor remembered the serious campaigner:
It's been said that no man in his last hours ever wished he'd spent more time at the office but Paul Reynolds might have been the exception. He had been through a lot but being a Scot he put it into labour. Watching him work so hard was difficult for his loved ones but engaged in a task he was as happy as a sandboy. He liked complex problems, the big picture and silly little distractions. He was always willing to suffer fools because he believed in giving people second chances. He'd been given a few himself: picked himself up, dusted himself off, got to work. I always admired that about him.
But also Mr Reynold's quirkier side:
When I was back in town last year I stayed at his apartment, minded the cat and attempted to work the mind numbingly complex PC / web TV set up he'd basically strung together for the sole purpose of streaming The Archers. There was also whiskey in the cabinet, he noted, and the Bourne trilogy on DVD, and would I please help myself to both. What I liked about Paul was that he was a fan of Derrida and Patrick O'Brian.
Condolence messages for Paul Reynolds' family can be left at internetnz.net.nz/paulreynolds
Chad Taylor: This is the punchline
Brian Edwards: On the death of Paul Reynolds
Peter Griffin: Reynolds understood the power of the web
Russell Brown: Paul Reynolds - a contribution
Thu, 27 May 2010