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   Obituary - Graham Phillips


Graham "Gray" Phillips

House: Rhodes
Years: 1955-1959

On 16th January 2006, Webmaster received a copy of an e-mail from Graham's brother, Steve Phillips (Rhodes 1956-61):

Gray passed away in July 1998 from a cardiac seizure which came about after a severe deterioration of his aorta, over several years.

He was born in Kokstad, South Africa, in 1941 and was four years old when his parents moved to Kenya. His father built a career with Kenya Co-operative Creameries with most of his time spent managing the factory at Molo. Gray attended Nakuru Primary School, and then the Prince of Wales School from 1956 to 1959. He became a prefect in Rhodes House & excelled in the sporting field. He represented the school in hockey (was Captain in 1959), rugby, cricket and tennis as well as Combined Schools in cricket. He was one of those guys with colours going down into his blazer pocket!!

On graduating, with a School Certificate, he returned to South Africa where he lived in Springs, not far from Johannesburg. He initially found employment in the reduction plant of a large gold mine. After a year’s break traveling and working in Europe, he returned to the same firm, for a few years, and then moved to Van Leer Packaging where he studied for, and attained, a diploma in Production Engineering. He subsequently joined Woodhead Kempo, a spring and coil manufacturer, where he achieved the position of Marketing Director. Eventually, he started his own business in which he was active until he died.

Gray maintained his interest and involvement in sport after he had left school. He immediately joined the local hockey club, Springs Old Boys, and announced his arrival with a hat-trick of goals, in each half, in one of his first games. He then played premier league hockey, for the club, and represented Transvaal for many years. He also played first league cricket for Springs as well as a bit of rugby on the Mine. Later on, he took to golf and ended up with a low digit handicap.

Growing up in the beautiful Kenya Highlands, Gray became an animal lover at an early age. He became a proficient equestrian to the extent of galloping the race horses of the Captain Spencer Tryon Stables, in Molo. Later on, in South Africa, he owned and trained several award-winning dogs in the field of Obedience. He also loved to get out in the wild and spent a lot of his time in the Kruger and other national parks of South Africa.

Gray married Elaine Clark, in Springs, in 1966. They have three children who are all now married and still live in South Africa. Tragically, Elaine also passed away, in 2003, after a long struggle with breast, and associated, cancer. We miss them both dearly!!!