In Memoriam Dr Amanda ‘Kit’ Hopkins, Ph.D. Belmont House 76 – 78
8th May 1962 – 19th July 2022
Amanda or ‘Kit’ as she preferred to be called, joined the girls at Dover College in the fifth form. Many of us were from an international background and thought of ourselves as rather cosmopolitan, but Amanda brought with her an air of worldliness that garnered curiosity and respect from the rest of the girls in Belmont House.
Kit’s passion for music was already apparent then, as she introduced us to music beyond the Top 20. This is where my memory fails me but Amanda must have worked in a record shop back in Coventry during the holidays, and to this day I have several singles in my collection that she gave me, including ‘Nights in White Satin’ and the fabulous Procul Harem’s ‘Whiter Shade of Pale’.
Her colourful (Sobranie) cigarette selection was so sophisticated and (if I am not mistaken) it was Amanda who educated us on the practicalities of stockings vs tights. Her love for drama kept her active in the school’s theatre productions assisting JFAB (James Beckett), master for drama and chemistry with whom I believe she kept in touch beyond the years at Dover College.
After Dover we all went our separate ways, briefly catching up at an event at the college in 1993. It wasn’t until we all started reconnecting, first through Friends Re-united and then Facebook, that those friendships from the mid-70s were rekindled.
In September 2009 we organised a long weekend get together of Old Dovorians, first in London, then also Dover. I remember chatting to Amanda, who was torn about attending the dinner in London for personal reasons.
I am so glad that I was able to persuade her to attend. We kept in touch, and she was my regular go-to person when I had queries about English grammar and punctuation. We managed another brief get together in 2013. The big celebration of 45 years of girls at Dover College scheduled for July 2020 was cancelled due to Covid. This sadly coincided with the news that Amanda had Ovarian Cancer and that it was in its advanced stages. Nevertheless, Amanda bravely took on the challenge that lay ahead of her.
All we could do was cheer her on from the side-lines as she went through her ups and downs. She never shared her emotions – reminding me of the cool and level headed, no nonsense girl she had been at Dover College. Although our time together at Dover was very brief, a maximum of 2 years, Amanda obviously left quite an impact on so many of our lives. In the end there wasn’t much we could do for her but hopefully she passed knowing that there was quite a few of us who cared for her and will never forget Amanda ‘Kit’ Hopkins.
Paromita Sanatani (D & B 75 – 80)
Amanda’s father, who died shortly before she attended Dover College had the local record store in Coventry. She held a lot of grief from his early departure.
I was in Dover in ‘96. It was the weekend memorial service for James Beckett. It was at that service that Amanda & I rekindled our friendship.
She was a very unassuming person, & never used the prefix Dr. in any of her correspondence.
She was the smart one in our friendship … yet for many years she struggled to find decent, or well-paid work. Eventually she found her family with her students & faculty.
On occasion she would stay in a monastery somewhere in Italy. She would often laugh at her Italian accent, and say she read Italian better than speak it. I only heard her speak Italian at restaurants.
She loved to sing & play guitar, dress up in leather & strut her stuff. She was a lot of fun.
She was a wonderful friend. She took me to a crop circle once & she came to visit me when I lived in Vancouver. She always wanted to go skeet shooting & we had made plans to do it next visit, which would have been the 45yr reunion…
I feel I lost a soul sister, and dear friend.
I went abroad immediately after Dover College and lost touch with many old schoolfriends. Kit managed to track me down to let me know about JFAB’s illness, and later death – she and I had both been close to JFAB at Dover.
We exchanged irregular messages / emails from then on. I visited her in March 2012 while back in the UK. I think it’s worth mentioning her love of music, her talent as a songwriter and performer; she was a popular solo artist in her locale and released three CDs – her music was very important to her as art, as a means of expression and as an emotional escape.
Steve Burrows (73 – 78)
Fly high and be free Amanda