John Henry Gordon (Nash 1953)

It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that the Johannian Community announces the passing of Mr John Henry Gordon (Nash 1953) on Monday 30 January 2023.

John started his school career in the College and played for the First XV rugby team in matric. He was awarded a Team Blazer for commitment to rugby.

He had a long business career from auditing to executive director of various companies and after retirement, continued at Andre Genfood trading in agricultural commodities and as Chairman of the Grain Seeds Board.

He served as chairman of the Old Johannian Association from 1974 to 1985. During his time as chairman the Old Johannian Association, donated the stained glass in the Memorial Chapel to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Association.

The plaque outside The Memorial Chapel commemorating 75 years of the Old Johannian Association.

John is survived by his children, Mark Gordon (1978 Thomson), Jane Lane and Peter Gordon (1988 Thomson) and his seven grandchildren, Nick Gordon, Jenna Gordon, Matt Lane, Rob Lane, Gaby Gordon, James Gordon and Max Gordon.

Cliff Midgley, a retired staff member of St John’s College, when he heard of John’s passing said: “John was devoted to the St John’s Community. I would see him attend his son and grandson’s cricket matches every weekend. You could see his dedication and loyalty to St John’s College. His work ethic was impeccable and he will be sorely missed.” “John was an extremely loyal and proud supporter of St John’s. He loved school sports and he enjoyed nothing more than to watch his grandsons participate. He always cheered and clapped for good play no matter the team.

Damian Boyce (Nash 1981), former chairman of the Old Johannian Association stated: “As a past chairman of the OJA, he was a fountain of knowledge and encouragement. He was not afraid to speak his mind around matters he considered important and in so doing shared many insights. He was a man of integrity and innate fairness.”

John loved and was a great support for his family. The Gordon family joined the Old Johannian Association dinner as honoured guests in 2017 and his family, all either at St John’s or Old Johannians, filled two tables in Darragh Hall.

Jane Lane, Headmistress of St John’s Pre-Preparatory and her father John Gordon at Gaudy Day in 2018.

Recently John had suffered from some health setbacks and experienced much discomfort. In his pragmatic way about his situation, he never complained.

I will miss John’s contribution to St John’s, our conversations and his wise guidance.

The St John’s community has lost a quintessential Old Johannian. He will be sorely missed but not forgotten. Lux Vita Caritas.”

Gavin Houlston (Clarke 1991): “John was a true gentleman and an Old Johannian. We spent many afternoons watching my son and his grandson playing cricket. He was passionate and offered strong opinions about the school traditions. He would always support the Rugby Festival every year. I am sad that I will not be seeing him on the sideline supporting the College this year. His blood will always be blue and I will miss him dearly.”