St John's College

John And Jane
John with his daughter Jane Lane, Headmistress at the Pre-Prep, at Gaudy Day in 2018.

It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing of John Henry Gordon (Nash 1953) on 30 January 2023.

John started his school career at St John's College in 1949. He was a keen rugby player and played for the First XV Rugby in his matric year and was awarded a Team Blazer for his commitment to the sport.

After matriculating from St John's, he enjoyed a long business career in auditing before moving to executive directorships of various companies. After his retirement, he continued his work at Andre Genfood, trading in agricultural commodities and taking up the position of Chairman of the Grain Seeds Board.

John returned to his Alma Mater in the 70s, where 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 window in the Memorial Chapel to commemorate the Association's 75th anniversary.

John is survived by his children, Mark Gordon (Thomson 1978), Jane Lane (Headmistress of St John's Pre-Preparatory) and Peter Gordon (Thomson 1988 ), and his grandchildren, Nick Gordon (Thomson 2010), Jenna Gordon, Matt Lane (Hill 2013), Rob Lane (Hill 2017), Gaby Gordon, James Gordon (Thomson 2021) and Max Gordon (UV Nash).

The funeral will take place in The Memorial Chapel at St John's College on Tuesday 7 February, at 15h30.

John 1
John Gordon in the First XV rugby team in 1949.

“John was devoted to the St John’s Community. He was an extremely loyal and proud supporter of St John’s. He loved school sports, and he enjoyed nothing more than watching his grandsons participate. I would often see him attend his son and grandson’s cricket matches on the weekend. He always cheered and clapped for good play, no matter the team. His work ethic, dedication and loyalty to St John’s were incomparable. He will be sorely missed.” - Cliff Midgley, former master at St John's College

“As a past chairman of the OJA, he was a fountain of knowledge and encouragement. He was not afraid to speak his mind about matters he considered important and shared many insights. He was also 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, either attending St John's at the time or as Old Johannians, filled two tables in Darragh Hall. Recently John 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.” - Damian Boyce (Nash 1981), former Chairman of the Old Johannian Association, 2017 to 2020

“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 was a great supporter of the Easter Rugby Festival and attended every year. I am sad that I will not see him on the sideline supporting the College this year. His blood will always be blue, and I will miss him dearly." - Gavin Houlston (Clarke 1991), Chairman of the Easter Rugby Festival