Vale the Hon Dr John Bannon AO
Members will be saddened to hear that UCA Life Member and former Master of St Mark’s College, Adelaide, the Hon Dr John Bannon AO, has passed away in Adelaide following a long battle with cancer. 

John was South Australia’s 39th Premier (1982 – 1992) and the State’s longest serving Labor Premier. Student life and politics were ingrained in him, having been President of the University of Adelaide Student Representative Council, President of the Adelaide University Union and President of the Australian Union of Students. In more recent years, he completed a PhD in Australian Political History at Flinders University and was an Adjunct Professor of Law at Adelaide University.

John Bannon was Master of St Mark’s College from 2000 to 2007. While his life continued to be full and influential following his resignation as Premier, including membership of the Board of the ABC, his leadership of St Mark’s College was an indication of his passion and commitment to the importance and significance of collegiate life and the impact of college community on the growth and development of young and future leaders. His collegiality was also demonstrated in his participation in and contribution to UCA (then AHAUCHI) – involved with, supportive and encouraging of others. He was a mentor, he had vision, and he also saw the relevance of the historical context. I recall the warmth and generosity of his hospitality at the 2003 Adelaide Conference, and also his encouragement in my own research on the history of Australian university colleges and halls. With all his achievements, there was no arrogance but a genuine desire to continue to serve as best he could the College, his colleagues, and the wider community. His Life Membership of our Association was more than well deserved.

A wonderful partnership and vision was seen in his appointment of Rose Alwyn as his Deputy at St Mark’s and in her subsequent appointment by the Board as Master. As Rose has noted: “His years as Master at St Mark’s and his association with UCA were among the happiest – he loved Colleges and what they stood for … he was such an honourable and decent man, witty and charismatic – he slipped away from us too soon.”

Our thoughts are with his wife, Angela, and family, and especially also with Rose and the community of St Mark’s College at this time. He will be greatly missed.

Dr Ian Walker
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