Graham Lynn Coggin (1934 – 2017)

Graham Lynn Coggin (Finingley 1948-1950) died after a short illness in Durban on 19 December 2017. The son of a Methodist minister who had been serving in a far-flung mission in the then Northern Transvaal, Lynn – as he was known – arrived at Kearsney to find that his form had been learning Latin, geometry and algebra for two years. As he was often fond of saying, these were like Greek to him!

Despite the fact that at school he had to catch up in these subjects, Lynn went on to become an outstanding mathematician and statistician, with his skills and training standing him in good stead as he served as an executive in a number of international companies in South Africa. During his corporate career, Lynn won a scholarship in 1960 towards work study and production engineering at the Cranfield School of Technology (now Cranfield University) in England. In later years, he obtained an honour’s and a master’s degree in business administration. Never one to allow his brain to stagnate, after retiring he read for a doctorate in business administration, entitled “Business methods and methods reengineering, as seen from the production engineering, industrial engineering and work study perspectives”.

Lynn became a senior executive of an international company at a young age and up to retirement was involved in introducing new ideas and technology. He managed several large projects during his work life and travelled internationally. He presented papers at international conferences and seminars and lectured part time during his early working life. In his latter years, he enjoyed presenting various papers to various societies, one of which was on a little-known facet of World War 2.

Lynn played first division cricket for several years. He also played league rugby and was selected to play for Zululand in 1956. At 58 years of age, he captained an invitation cricket team at the Wanderers.

Often a quiet man, he was an adventurer at heart, epitomised by setting out soon after leaving school in the early 1950s to hitchhike from Cape Town to Cairo. He and a friend made it as far as East Africa, working on farms to earn their keep as they did so. But they were stopped in their tracks by the then Mau Mau movement in Kenya and returned to South Africa.

He published a thriller under a pseudonym, Graham Lynn, and several corporate and academic publications and short stories. Some of these publications are lodged in the Kearsney Library.

A widower, Lynn is survived by a daughter, two grandsons and a great granddaughter, all of whom live in England, and two brothers, Chris and Theo, both of whom also attended Kearsney.