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Iain Watson Gallaway (4566), aged 99

27 May 2021

Iain Gallaway was a man of many talents, but for most he was simply the genial voice of Otago and New Zealand cricket.

The highly respected Old Boy died recently in his hometown of Dunedin, aged 99 years.

Iain Watson Gallaway was born in 1922. He spent his secondary school years boarding at Christ’s College. He was Head of Jacobs House in 1940, and spent two years each in the 1st XI and 1st XV.

Iain maintained a life-long association with College. He served on the Board for several years and was a life member of the Old Boy’s Association. Son Garth Gallaway, also an Old Boy, says his father often spoke about those school days being the happiest days of his life.

Garth says World War 2 had a had a profound effect on his father – 177 Christ’s College Old Boys lost their lives in that war and Iain knew 77 of them. Thirteen were his contemporaries in Jacobs. Of his 1939 1st X1, six mates were killed including his greatest friend, David Monaghan.

Although Iain was in the Royal New Zealand Artillery and the Royal New Zealand Navy from 1941–45, he did not see active service.

Before leaving for England, Iain was a cadet reporter for the Otago Daily Times. On his return, he studied law at Otago University, was admitted to the bar in 1950 and moved into the family firm.

But law was not his first love – sport was his obsession.

Garth describes his father as a better-than-handy wicket-keeper and a less than useful batsman. It was watching the game where he excelled, commentating on rugby first, and then cricket for 40 years.

“He never put himself ahead of the game. His role was to paint the picture and to be accurate. For Dad, accuracy was not negotiable. Everything depended on preparation – watching the teams preparing, knowing damn well who the players were and a good set of binoculars.”

In 1992, at the age of 70, Iain retired from broadcasting. The Cricket World Cup was his finale. He subsequently became President of New Zealand Cricket for four years.

Away from the sports arena, Iain held multiple board appointments where he was highly respected for his wise counsel. He was a board member of the Broadcasting Corporation of New Zealand from 1978–82 and again from 1984–89; served on the board of the NZ Sports Foundation for 14 years; was a lifetime trustee of the Murray Halberg Trust; and a director of department store DIC in the 1970s. Iain spent more than 50 years on the Diocesan Trust Board and was Chancellor of the diocese for 25 years.

Iain’s wife Virginia died in 2007. He is survived by his children, Garth, Sarah, Annie and Alice, together with seven grandchildren.

He aha te mea nui o te ao
He tangata, he tangata, he tangata

 What is the most important thing in the world?
It is the people, it is the people, it is the people

Vale father – rest well.

Our thanks to the Gallaway family for allowing us permission to republish excerpts from their father’s eulogy.

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