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Obituary – 25 year master Mervyn (Merv) Fairgray

Auckland Grammar School recognises the recent passing of 25 year master, Mr Mervyn (Merv) Fairgray (M.A., Dip Lang.Lab., Ch,O.P.A.) The School acknowledges Mr Fairgray’s 33 years’ service to the School, serving these in consecutive years from 1957-1991, except for 1963 and 1964 when he taught at St Kentigern College.

Mr Fairgray was an experienced teacher of French and became a leading educationalist in language teaching in New Zealand, being award one of the oldest civic distinctions by the French Government. The award Chevalier dans I’Ordre des Palmes Academiques recognised his outstanding contribution to the teaching of the French language and culture, in particular for the organisation of annual exchanges between Tahiti and New Zealand. He made a remarkable contribution to the international understanding of thousands of students.

Mr Fairgray was the Head of Languages from 1970 until being appointed Senior Master in 1972, and in 1981 he was appointed Deputy Headmaster and was involved with senior leadership until 1991.

Mr Fairgray was committed to School life, helping protect the School’s overall tone and working to retain a rigorous and appropriate curriculum for Grammar boys. He led the introduction of computer technology at the school, ran the School List, was a contributor to sport coaching Rugby and Cricket for two decades. He was Master in Charge of Cricket from 1965 to 1976 and coached the 1st XI cricket from 1964 to 1972.  He was a captain in the School’s cadet Unit and Company Commander of the Artillery Company and later the Ambulance Company.

His loyalty and commitment to Auckland Grammar School was immense. Our sympathies are extended to Mr Fairgray’s wider family and the flag will be flown at half-mast on Wednesday 27 July as a sign of our respect.