We note with great sadness that Professor Athol Mann died suddenly at his home on Tuesday, 14 November 2017.
Athol was the dearly loved husband of Ngaire, loved father and father-in-law of David and Jan, Richard and Michelle, Alison, Helen and Michael, dearly loved brother of Barbara and the late Sally, loved grandfather of Sarah, Julia, Charlotte, Laura, Nicholas, Alexander, Kate, James, and their partners, and great-grandfather of 13. Athol’s funeral will be held at the Anglican Cathedral on Molesworth Street, at 1.30pm on 20th November.
Research For Life president Prof. John Nacey said, “Athol Mann had a long association with Research For Life but, more importantly, his commitment and contribution has ensured the ongoing success of our organisation.
“Earlier this year we appointed Athol an Honorary Life Member in recognition of his outstanding contribution to empowering the medical research community through his involvement over some 30 years with Research For Life and as the former chair of the Health Sponsorship Council and Medical Research Council.”
Professor Mann was first elected to our board in 1988. He was President from 1996-1998 and has been a member of the Investment Committee since 2003. Although he stepped down from the board in March, he continued to serve as a member of our investment committee.
Professor Mann became a partner at the age of 21 in the accountancy firm now known as KPMG. He served on the Council of the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants and as its president. He was the first New Zealander on the Council of the International Federation of Accountants and was a member of the New Zealand Securities Commission for seven years. While working in New York for his company, he was approached to become Dean of commerce at Victoria University of Wellington in 1987, a position he held for 10 years.
Athol also had an outstanding record of community service. He was the inaugural chairman of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra when it separated from the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation and was a founding director of Te Papa Museum. In addition to his commercial board appointments, he has been a director of New Zealand Opera and the Symphony Orchestra, a director of Barnardos NZ, and Wellington Waterfront Limited. In 1986 he received a CMG for service to the accountancy profession, the arts, and the community.
“We are privileged to have had Athol as a board member and want to acknowledge the tremendous contribution he has made to our organisation. His contribution has enabled many young researchers to undertake innovative medical and biomedical research.
“Athol’s wife and family are very much in our thoughts at this difficult time,” John Nacey said.