RIP Sir John Graham

Some tributes in the Herald:

Auckland Grammar School

“Sir John’s passion for quality education saw decades of his life committed to the education sector. His role as the 9th headmaster of Auckland Grammar School from January 1973 to May 1993, was defining. “We are grateful for Sir John’s connection and continued contributions to Auckland Grammar School until the day of his passing.”

New Zealand Cricket

“The thoughts of NZC are with the family of former All Blacks captain and Black Caps manager Sir .”

Steve Tew, NZ Rugby CEO

“DJ was a great all-round New Zealander. From his exploits on the rugby field to those in the classroom he was simply exceptional. His commitment to all aspects of the game and New Zealand society is legendary. DJ was a person I feel extremely privileged to have met. He was a leader in every endeavour he turned to, and his long list of honours and achievements are testaments to his exceptional character.”

Jonathan Coleman, Sports Minister

Sir John Graham – a great NZer who made a huge difference for so many young people. A major influence in my formative years, sadly gone.”


Sean Fitzpatrick, former All Blacks captain

“Our thoughts are with the family of Sir John Graham who has passed away. A good man who influenced so many lives.”

Murray Deaker, broadcaster

“I don’t know of any other single individual who has had such an influence in education in particular. Twenty-eight young men who taught under him became principals or headmasters. On top of that, his influence in the areas of rugby union and cricket are almost beyond parallel.”

Sir Michael Jones, All Black

“I was privileged to be part of the Auckland rugby team in the early and mid-90s and we were coached by Sir Graham Henry of course, and Sir DJ was our manager. They were just wonderful father figures for us, particularly DJ being the patriarch of the team and the senior statesman. He was just a wonderful presence in that squad. We were very successful and I do give credit to Sir DJ, just his mana that he had about him but also his rugby nous.”

Sir John excelled in many areas but I have little doubt his greatest impact on New Zealand was as a principal for 20 years. A strong principal can have a huge impact on the lives of the kids who go to their school, and I am sure there are tens of thousands who have benefited from his educational leadership.

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