A missing British accountant was today confirmed as a victim of the New Zealand earthquake.
Phil Coppeard, 41, was last seen on a bus heading towards the centre of Christchurch 20 minutes before the quake, which measured 6.3 on the richter scale, struck the city.
Coppeard moved to New Zealand three months ago with his fiance. He was confirmed dead on Sunday – 16 days after the killer quake.
His lawyer wife Suzanne, also 41, said her husband was a mature student who was heading to Otago University for the second day of his master’s course in economics.
A statement from his wife and family from Moulton, Cambs., spoke of his ”generous spirit”.
It read: ”Phil is a much-loved and missed husband, son, brother and brother-in-law, grandson, son-in-law, uncle, cousin and nephew.
”He was a very generous spirit, always keen to be involved in community and charity events.
”Phil had a successful career in finance with Touche Ross, Airtours and Babcock and Brown as an investment banker in the air finance industry.
”His death is a tragedy at the start of an exciting new life in New Zealand.
”We take comfort in the support we have had from family and friends throughout the world.
”He touched so many lives.”
Tragic Phil moved to New Zealand in November, but was confirmed dead on Sunday after the earthquake on February 22.
He met Suzanne, whom he married in 2007, while living in London and the pair then moved to Dubai before settling in her home country of New Zealand.