Tribute to enviro champion Hop.E

Paul Hopkins
Paul Hopkins Contributed

PAUL "Hop.E" Hopkins died last week, aged 72.

He will be remembered as an unconventional environmental campaigner.

A founder of the Caldera Environment Centre, Hop.E was a constant campaigner and although the cancer that claimed his life slowed him down in recent months, he was always on the end of the phone mentoring and giving advice.

Hop.E's partner Cynthia Brooks, said he was "unconventional but he got to the nub of the issue".

Ms Brooks said his first major environmental campaign was to protect Mount Nullum from development.

"I think it is the one that stayed in his mind as a major success because it is now as it was back then," she said.

Hop.E was also campaigning to list the Border Ranges as a biosphere under a UNESCO program.

Not all campaigns were as successful as Mount Nullum in the 1980s but his unconventional style was always noticed.

"He liked to come from his own angle. He was a bit left field sometimes," Ms Brooks said

When a six-storey development in south Murwillumbah was proposed, his idea was to give people an idea of scale. So he filled helium balloons and floated them up to that sort of height.

"That didn't work particularly well but he was fairly inventive."

Ms Brooks met Hop.E when he visited Brisbane from Sydney, to deliver a lecture. After moving to the Tweed, Hop.E fell in love with the landscape and became a champion of the environment.

Hop.E is survived by Cynthia and his three children Nick, Tom and Thea.

Topics:  caldera environment centre community health

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