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Geoffrey John CBE

Geoffrey Richards John CBE 25th March 1934 - 20th August 2018 (School House 1947-51)

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Geoffrey John, a distinguished Old Bromsgrovian and great servant of our School for almost five decades.

Geoffrey joined us from Llanelli Grammar School in 1947. He joined the Fourth Form in School House, was a Music Scholar, Secretary of the Music Society, played in the 2nd XV and was a Lance-Corporal in the C.C.F. After leaving in 1951, Geoffrey obtained a 1st Class Honours degree in Economics at University College, Cardiff. During his National service he was a Pilot Officer in the R.A.F.

An illustrious business career ensued. Geoffrey began work at Cadbury’s. He was then successively Chief Executive of Dalgety-Spillers Food, Chairman of Allied Bakeries, Dairy Crest, the Meat and Livestock Commission and Food from Britain.

His commitment to education was life-long and wide-ranging. He was a Governor of Hereford Cathedral School and Pro-Chancellor of Aston University from 2003-2008 where he received an Hon. D. Litt. in 2010.

Here at Bromsgrove School, his service has been unique. A Governor from 1965 to 1994, Geoffrey was Chairman of Governors from 1982 to 1991 and President from 1994 to 2010. Many parents and OBs will recall his brisk but eloquent delivery at many Commemorations. His interest in the School and its progress and well-being remained undiminished to the end.

Geoffrey brought a keen mind and unrivalled business acumen to the Governing Body, firstly in difficult times and then in a period of great change for Independent Schools. He played a leading role in our School’s remarkable growth and success in recent decades. He crucially supported the expansive vision of several successive Headmasters and they greatly valued his listening ear, wise words, encouragement, unwavering loyalty, support and belief. He also recruited on to the Board a succession of individuals whose wide-ranging experience served the School so well.

Geoffrey was a proud Welshman and an avid rugby supporter. It was a fortunate day for us when this boy from Llanelli joined Bromsgrove School just after the war. Despite his exceptionally busy career, his devotion to our School and his impact upon it makes him one of the very significant figures in our history. But best of all, he was a gentleman and whether you were a Headmaster, teacher or pupil he always had a kind, encouraging word for everyone. We shall not see his like again.

A celebration of Geoffrey’s life will be held at Hereford Cathedral at 2.30pm on Friday, 21st September.

We offer our condolences to his widow Lyn and his daughters, Stella and Judith.


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