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Philanthropist Lady Diana Isaac dies

Published: 1:30PM Saturday November 24, 2012 Source: ONE News

  • Lady Diana Isaac at Peacock Springs (Source: The Isaac Conservation and Wildlife Trust)
    Lady Diana Isaac at Peacock Springs - Source: The Isaac Conservation and Wildlife Trust

Well-known Canterbury conservationist, businesswoman and philanthropist Lady Diana Isaac has died.

Her family said that Lady Diana, 91, passed away peacefully at her home last night.

Born in Devonshire, Lady Diana was raised in the United Kingdom, and served in the British Army for three years at the end of World War II.

She married Neil Isaac in India before settling in Christchurch in 1950. The couple then founded the Isaac Construction Company, and established the Peacock Springs Conservation Park.

Despite her sixty years spent in New Zealand, she only became an official citizen in September.

Prime Minister John Key has led the tributes, saying that Lady Diana was an outstanding champion for Canterbury.

"Lady Diana's contribution to Canterbury and New Zealand was truly remarkable. From her early philanthropic work with her late husband Neil, right up until the time of her death, she was an outstanding champion for Canterbury, the arts and conservation," stated Key.

He added that her legacy will endure through the Isaac Theatre Royal, the Isaac Centre for Nature Conservation, and the creation of scholarships at both Lincoln and Canterbury Universities.

"It is difficult to imagine anyone who was more generous or worked harder for the people of Canterbury," said Key.