Vale – John Mason (Master Emeritus 1983 – 2006)
Irreplaceable and Unforgettable
It is with great sadness that we inform the Mentone Grammar community of the passing of much-loved former English teacher, Master Emeritus and Honorary Mentonian, John Mason.
John Mason left an impression on all who had the honor of meeting him from his very first day at Mentone Grammar in 1983. He was a man consumed by a love of sport, and was unwavering in his dedication to teaching English, as well as inspiring and improving learning for his students.
For those lucky enough to work with John, they witnessed him do everything with the same degree of intensity that characterised his cricket coaching. When he retired in 2006, there was never going to be another John Mason, he is irreplaceable and unforgettable.
John is most fondly remembered for his dedication to the First XI cricket team, where he made no distinction between the talented players and the less gifted. Each player received the same patient encouragement, and everyone, no matter how competitive, would learn the lessons that transcend technique, the final score, and batting and bowling averages. Everyone knew cooperation was more important than competition, and respect for the game and those who play it, more valuable than premierships.
John was most delighted that his son Hylton (Class of 1997) played in both Mentone’s First XVIII and First XI teams. John’s daughter, Sarah, continues the connection, currently serving as a staff member, and with her two sons, Finnegan (Class of 2025) and Fletcher (Class of 2028) also attending the School.
Hundreds of young people knew John Mason as the House Master of Were House, recognising him as the person most responsible for the generation of ethics associated with that House; listen to others before you speak, speak only when what you have to say is useful to others, compete vigorously when you must, but always for the collective good and never for personal glorification.
In recent years, John has been a very welcome and popular guest at reunions, remembered by so many as ‘one of their favorite teachers’. He shaped the hearts and minds of hundreds of students, privileged to have him as their English teacher or coach. His qualities of decency, honesty, modesty, and an unyielding attachment to firmly formed and clearly articulated principles of scholarship and humanity, will be his richest and most enduring legacy.
He will be greatly missed by the whole Mentone Grammar community.
Labore et Honore
(28 November 1948 – 4 October 2023)