John E S Gagg ( OH 1952 - 1960)
29/07/2007
JOHN EDWARD S. GAGG 1941 - 2007 (Later known as John Gage) - John was a dayboy at HCS during the Fifties and a member of EAST House.

On leaving school John went to Manchester University and gained a 1st Class BA Hons degree in Modern History with Economics & Politics. His first job was as Marketing Manager for Food Brokers Limited in Kingston-u-Thames between 1964 and 1966. He then joined the Economics & Politics Dept. at the University of Aston in Birmingham, where he stayed for 2 years as a lecturer in that subject.

John happened to be one of the first students to take up Spanish when it was introduced as a new subject at HCS during the Fifties era, when Master Mr P G S Baylis, whose main subject was Mathematics, became the main teacher at that time. ( Baylis, formerly remembered by John and others as Mr Pooh Baylis, was naturally re-named PABLO after that !! )

Being equipped with his BA and experience as an academic with language skills, John emigrated to Australia in 1968 and was soon offered an appointment at the Australian National University in Canberra, where he stayed until retirement in 2006. As well as becoming a senior ANU lecturer at the School of Economics, Faculty of Economics & Commerce, he also became Deputy Director, National Europe Centre ( ** ) He was later appointed Director of the Latin American Center in Canberra where he lived with his third wife Monika.

John was a keen rugby player when at school and naturally followed the Wallabies whenever they were playing in Tests both downunder in his adopted country and back home at Twickenham and elsewhere in Europe. Monika, his new partner was due to fly with John to Britain in September 2007 because John had acquired RWC2007 tickets to watch Wales take on Australia in a Pool B match at The Millennium Stadium. John was to travel to Cardiff whilst Monika stayed with family in Hereford.

The couple had only recently returned from another overseas tour, having stayed in Johannesburg, S. Africa for a while and visited the Makalali Private Game Park Reserve. En route home to Australia, they flew via. Buenos Aires where John organised a successful conference.

They then travelled to Kuala Lumpur and spent a further 5 days in Malaysia before touching down in Canberra on 9th May 2007.

Unfortunately, when John visited his GP in June complaining of severe abdominal pain, he was rushed to hospital where surgeons removed a large growth. He was diagnosed as having carcinoma of the bladder but, despite undergoing further treatment, it was sadly too late because the disease had spread to his bones and lungs.

He died on 7th July 2007 and was cremated following a moving service of thanksgiving. A memorial service later took place at The Europe Centre in Canberra, where friends and family gathered to celebrate the life of John. He was praised and honoured by many of his colleagues and many more people paid their respects by way of this remembrance ceremony.

Among all the other tributes, stories and accounts of his life which had been spoken and written about John Gagg ( ** ) over recent weeks, here is an extract from an e-mail sent in by one of his class mates Terence J. Prince ( OH 1952 - 1960 ) a Training Consultant and another resident of East House.

" I was saddened to hear of John's death. Somehow one always remembers one's school friends as preserved in time and immortal, when the reality is, of course, otherwise. I remember John well. He came to HCS with me from St Martins Primary and was far from unassuming. A larger -than- life character, with an endless fund of stories told with great vigour, usually to a captive audience in The Lichfield Vaults. A very fine brain behind that bluff exterior. Unfortunately I lost touch with him after school and University, by which time he had since left for Australia. "

Footnote (**) We were told by his family that he changed his surname to GAGE whilst in Australia but no reason was given.
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