John Cunningham immersed himself into community activities in Victor Harbor

BUSY: Brian Liddy, John Cunningham and Grant Retallick had good times supporting many community projects.
BUSY: Brian Liddy, John Cunningham and Grant Retallick had good times supporting many community projects.

Whether it was sport, education or being involved in community activities, John Cunningham was passionate and strived for results.

John was a mentor to many, he was busy and engaging and will be missed in the many communities he served after passing away in late 2020.

John was born in Alberton and lived at Hendon until at 21-years he went to Millicent to teach. His schooling was at Alberton Infant and Primary School, then Woodville High. His thirst for education continued when John attended Adelaide Teacher's College and Adelaide University completing Science and Education degrees.

John taught at Millicent for three years, spent two years in Curriculum Development before being transferred to Taperoo High. From Taperoo, John went to Renmanrk as a Science and Maths Senior for three years and appointed Deputy Head to Whyalla High where he enjoyed 11 years of service.

John spent time as a staffing officer and after three years of placing teachers in positions, learning more about the education department, John was appointed to Victor Harbor High School as Deputy Head. John was proud to have filled the Acting Principal role at both Whyalla and Victor Harbor high schools at different stages.

John Cunningham served twice as president of the Rotary Club of Victor Harbor and is congratulated by Rotarian Andrew Robertson.

John Cunningham served twice as president of the Rotary Club of Victor Harbor and is congratulated by Rotarian Andrew Robertson.

The arrival to Victor Harbor began a wonderful relationship between John Cunningham and the community. He left permanent teaching in 1993, but continued private tutoring for four more years, plus temporary relieving work.

John shaped the lives of many students and was well respected. But it was not just in education where John made a difference.

He joined the Rotary Club of Victor Harbor after volunteering at the annual art show and this began a long association with many like minded and selfless Rotary members and the community of Victor Harbor, which John just wanted to serve and help make a better place.

He was Rotary Club secretary, bulletin editor for many years, president twice, youth services chair and awarded a Paul Harris Fellow, a huge honour in Rotary Clubs.

In sport John excelled, as he umpired netball for more than 20 years in Adelaide, Whyalla and Victor Harbor, gaining the B grade umpire's badge on his way to retirement. John's exploits were not just as an umpire, but as a leader.

He was president of the Whyalla Netball Association for five years and coach of the representative team for three years when the association, under his guidance, won the A grade section at the State Country Carnival.

John Cunningham being presented with his Paul Harris Fellow by Victor Harbor Rotarian Rob Williams.

John Cunningham being presented with his Paul Harris Fellow by Victor Harbor Rotarian Rob Williams.

John was so inspirational and successful he had three interstate trips coaching the Country Combined Team.

John was a man for the people, loved a chat in the street and was so knowledgeable. He enjoyed playing Bridge, was a member of the South Coast Choral & Arts Society where he was secretary and performed in numerous musical and drama productions.

John will be missed by many, as whether it was education, sport or community groups, he made an impact and nurtured so many to live great lives.

This story John took pride in the community he loved first appeared on The Times.

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