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The Trust Deed states the Purposes of the Trust as follows:


a) to make grants (whether of income or capital) to assist research into blood cancers and other malignancies. Where possible such research to be based in the South Island of NZ.


b) to make grants (whether of income or capital) to the Canterbury Medical Research Foundation (or other similar bodies) to assist them to fund research into blood cancers in each case limited to NZ only.

Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) Chief Executive David Meates presented a cheque for $32,392.37 to Southern DHB’s Haematology Department to set up a Clinical Trials Unit at Dunedin Hospital.


The Ruth Spearing Cancer Research Trust was established in 2008 through a generous donation from Barry Mather, in his words "only through research will we find the cure."

Barry lost his 3-year battle against chronic lymphocytic leukaemia in 2008.






Always interested in buying and selling Barry decided in 1981 to take a change in direction and started the antique and second-hand business, Mr Pickwicks Trading Post, in part of the old Wards Brewery site on Fitzgerald Ave.  Initially this was to be a semi - retirement business but the business grew beyond expectations and Barry eventually ended up buying and operating what was then an iconic business from the whole city block between Chester St and Kilmore St on Fitzgerald Ave.


Barry's main interests outside work were fishing from his small boat in Akaroa Harbour and rabbit and duck shooting.  In later years, he also enjoyed time spent on the block of land and substantial garden he and his wife Jennifer owned at Brookside. 


The diagnosis of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia forced Barry into retirement and introduced him to Ruth Spearing. He was full of admiration for the quality of care given by Ruth and her team at Christchurch Hospital. In 2008 he donated the funds to establish The Ruth Spearing Cancer Research Trust. The purpose of which is leukaemia research. In Barry’s words…

"I like to think that the money I have donated will help people better understand cancer. I don't think it will cure cancer overnight but every little bit helps.“




Born December 1940 in Christchurch, Barry spent his childhood on the family market garden and orchard in Kerrs Rd, Dallington. It was during these years that his parents instilled a strong work ethic in both Barry and his older brother Maurice, as both boys were expected to work on the property.

Barry attended Linwood North School but was to leave school shortly before his 15th birthday to work in various jobs in the fish business; subsequently ending up as the manager of Fendalton Fish supply in 1960 at the age of 20. 

He married his wife Jennifer in 1961 and together they had 3 children Simon, Nicholas and Bridget.

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