Gordonians Cricket Club - Obituaries M to R

JOHN A G McHARDY - John McHardy died on Thursday 7 June 2018, aged 89.  John was a legend in Gordonian cricket having played from 1950 to 1972, amassing more than 700 wickets in this career. In season 1956 he took 56 wickets in the Strathmore Union, a Club Record which has not been broken. In 1970 he gifted the 1st XI bowling trophy to the Club which will be a permanent memory of his contribution to Gordonian Cricket. Of course, John was the first recipient of the award. He was the Honorary President of the Club from 2000 until the present, and this 19-year term is a Club Record. He was particularly supportive to the Club in its difficult years at the beginning of this millennium.  Statistics of course never tell the whole story, and in John’s case we lose a wonderful personality, a delightful raconteur, and to many, a dear and close friend. Our thoughts are with his wife and daughter at this time.

The following is a tribute to John from Buff Hardie:

John Alexander Grant McHardy (At RGC 1941-45)

Born 03/02/1929

Died 07/06/2018 (Age 89)

From Mile End Primary School John entered RGC in 1941, leaving in 1945 with an academic record which he described as modest. Commencing his National Service at the age of 18, he spent most of it as a Physical Training Instructor attached to 2nd Para (2nd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment). While he was with 2nd Para, he took the opportunity to acquire proficiency in parachute jumping, a skill which he put to good use much later in life when at the age of 74 he made a solo parachute jump for charity from 2000 feet. Drawing on his experience whilst in the Army he embarked on a career in Physical Education Training in schools in Aberdeenshire, from which he changed course and moved into the motor trade, joining the sales staff of Harpers, the main Ford Dealers in Aberdeen in 1960. He worked for 30 years with Ford, retiring in 1990 at the age of 60 as Area Sales Director (North), having in that time become adviser on and seller of commercial vehicles to firms and businesses all over the North of Scotland. One particularly fruitful source of business for John and through him for the Ford Motor Company was the development of the Oil Terminal at Sullom Voe in Shetland with its workforce of 2000. That was a career highlight, but in general terms for John, being in business in Aberdeen at the height of the oil boom was “the best job in the world”. Subsequently in the course of a lengthy and active retirement, featuring much hill-climbing and really serious walking, John generously devoted much of his time to taking out the elderly and the housebound on enjoyable and in many cases therapeutic outings (always of course in a Ford). A regular beneficiary of this, one of John’s most laudable retirement activities, was the legendary RGC Master, George Barton. Himself a Gordonian to the core, John was honoured by the Gordonian Association, which bestowed on him the distinction of being the Guest of Honour at their Annual Dinner in 2005, and also by Gordonians Cricket Club which in 2000 elected him their Honorary President, an office which he held for the rest of his life. This latter was a fitting tribute, as for years it was part of the rites of passage for any young cricketer making it into Gordonians 1st XI to be regaled by John’s repertoire of stories which were legion. John was a pillar of Gordonians Cricket Club from 1952 to 1970. A fast medium bowler, John took more wickets (704) in all matches for Gordonians, more than any other bowler in the history of the Club. His batting returns were rather less glorious. He was one of Nature’s No 11’s.  On being asked if John had ever scored a run for Gordonians, a contemporary replied” I don’t know. I only played with him for 15 years. He certainly never scored a run in that time”. John died in his 90th year. As he moved through his 80’s he would say “I’ve had a good innings – a longer innings than I ever had for Gordonians”.  John is survived by his wife, Sylvia, their older daughter Susan, and two grandchildren, Archie & Mia. Sadly their younger daughter, Fiona, pre-deceased John in 2011.