Farewell to Sir John Graham

News, Obituaries — By on October 12, 2017 3:26 pm

It was with sadness that the University community farewelled Sir John Graham (KNZM CBE), who died on 2 August.

Sir John, a highly-respected figure in education and sports, a former captain of the All Blacks and a long-serving headmaster of Auckland Grammar, had strong ties with the University, serving as Chancellor from 1999 to 2004 and on the Council for six years prior to that. He was also an MA (Hons) graduate of our University, and was awarded the degree of Doctor of Literature (Honoris causa) in 2005.

John Taylor, senior advancement consultant at the University, knew Sir John over many years and describes him as “a brilliant sportsman and a fine educationist, who gave a great deal to the University, not only as Chancellor but also as a patron for the ‘Leading the way’ campaign”.

In sport he clocked up 22 tests as an All Black loose forward, including three as captain, and was elected president of the New Zealand Rugby Football Union in April 2005. He also managed the New Zealand cricket team from 1997 to 1999. “However,” says John Taylor, “he never lost his love of sport at the grass-roots level and one of his great pleasures was to watch the University team play rugby.”

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