Wally Hopton (January 19th, 1928 – August 7th, 2020)
It is with great sadness that we have learned that Wally Hopton passed away peacefully on Friday, 7th August 2020 – Wally was 92 years old.
Wally dedicated his whole life to the cosmetic industry in South Africa and made an immeasurable contribution to its growth and development, helping it to become the thriving industry that it is today. A long and distinguished career culminated in Wally’s appointment as Managing Director of Adcock Ingram, his last position before his formal retirement.
Wally became a member of the South African Society of Cosmetic Chemists (Coschem) in 1987 and he served the society tirelessly, with unerring passion, for many years. He was elected President of Coschem in 1989, just two years after becoming a member, and he was the society’s Honorary Treasurer from 1996 until 1999.
It was only after his formal retirement from Adcock Ingram that Wally made the biggest impact on the cosmetic industry in South Africa. Indeed, it was Wally that led the charge to successfully bid for South Africa to become the venue for the 1999 IFSCC (International Federation of Societies of Cosmetic Chemists) Conference, the first time that this event was held on the African continent.
Wally was, of course, a founder member of the CTFA in 1994, an organisation that was born out of Wally’s vision for South Africa to become a major player in the cosmetic industry globally; he always believed that our country had as much to offer as any other, such was his passion for the elevating the local industry to international status.
Wally’s dream was very much brought to life when it was he, in the late 1990’s, that tabled the notion of an international forum to harmonise the testing of sunscreen products globally, given the exponential way in which that sector of the market was growing at the time and the importance that these products held in their protection role for consumers.
After much dedication and hard work, Wally persuaded the rest of the world that this was the right thing to do and this eventually gave rise to the birth of the “ISO/TC 217/WG 7 – Sun protection test methods”, working group, an international committee of sunscreen experts from around the world, which is as active today as it has ever been – quite an achievement for the mild-mannered South Africa gentleman that Wally Hopton was.
It is very rare for anyone to dedicate their whole working life to an industry, let alone the majority of their retirement years as well. That was exactly what Wally did and he became a bastion and iconic figure for the cosmetic industry in South Africa. Wally Hopton was truly “one of a kind” and the South African cosmetic industry today is so much the better for the dedication of a man that truly made a difference.
Tribute by John Knowlton, CTFA Exco Member