John Langdon, the founder of Dominion English Schools New Zealand, died peacefully in Auckland on Wednesday 31 July 2013 at the age of 73.
Dominion English Schools joined IALC in 1989. From the start of his schools’ membership, John was an active contributor to our policy debates and kept a watchful eye on the association’s governance. He was also a member of the marketing committee and for the period of his membership, one of our most active volunteers. John was a unique character, as the tribute below from Dominion English Schools shows. He will be much missed.
John was well known. Known for his incredibly bad taste jokes, a sense of humour that could embarrass the hardest of us, his offensive collection of ties and his own very unique dress code. We will never forget all this. He was praised for his spirited delivery of the haka, his soft shoe shuffle, his poetry, his stories, his wide general knowledge and his ability to touch peoples’ hearts. “You have touched the heart of a New Zealander” he would say on meeting anyone from anywhere around the world, as he clutched their hand to his heart. John was all heart. He worked from there. He built his Dominion English School on his love of learning and his love of people. From 1969 until 5 years ago, that was where he worked every day, creating a unique school. He was the bearded guru of a new industry as English language schools sprang up in New Zealand, but he kept his first school in Auckland and the school that followed on in Christchurch reigned in to be first and foremost a place where staff and students from all around the world felt a warm welcome and found a special place to work or study. Foundation member of FIELS, where he was the first chairman, he was dedicated to the development of export education from its very beginning and worked at this task passionately until his retirement in 2007.
Pictured doing the haka in 2007: the unforgettable John Langdon.
John Langdon Obituary and Guest Book