On Saturday morning 29th we lost one of our true believers. The great John Gregg.
In the mid-1990s the club created a group called “Swans Ambassadors”.
The aim was through an association with well-known supporters in various arms of the performing arts (film/state/television/music/dance), sports and politics we could lift our modest profile. For over a decade our Ambassadors Group was administered with great passion by Janene Thoma.
One of our first Ambassadors was John Gregg, and his wife Jane Seldon.
John became an Australian football devotee growing up in Tasmania. Despite wanting to be a farmer he somehow found himself at NIDA from where he graduated as an actor. It is believed that his teacher said “ with that voice” you should either be a vicar or an actor. Shortly thereafter he found himself performing a monologue from Richard III at the Hobart auditions for NIDA which was the start of a career that would span the next sixty years in Australia and the UK. He readily acknowledged he was not the most diligent of students. Regardless, after graduation he was chosen as one of only two students to work with the prestigious Elizabethan Theatre Trust. And the rest, as they say, is history.
He became a prolific performer ranging from appearing on stage in a range of classical works to countless appearances in film/television/and multiple voice-overs.
Across his career he worked with the likes of Laurence Olivier/Tom Conti/Diana Rigg/Zoe Caldwell and on such iconic television shows/series as Dr Who and Bodyline (and for our older members, Bellbird).
In 2008 he joined the Committee of the Actors Benevolent Fund and from 2013-19 was its chair.
His first credited appearance on an Australian television screen was in 1964 in the series “Consider your Verdict”. His last appearance was in a film completed this year called “Liebe”.
While a lot of people would not have seen him on stage or in film/television his voice was one of the most consistently heard. Whether it was reading novels on ABC Radio to doing voiceovers for major corporations in advertising campaigns to promoting the need to be aware of the dangers of skin cancer.
John and Jane were paid up members of the Swans for nearly 30 years.
He was a long-time passionate Ambassador bringing many new Swans members to the club.
John and Jane usually used their membership tickets for games but would occasionally ask very reluctantly for a couple of extra to bring new supporters. And always offering to pay for the tickets!!
Once a year they would attend the major pre-match function, the Chairman’s Club. John was always introduced by the then Chairman as the man with “the most mellifluous voice in Australia” (shades of his teacher in Tassie all those years ago).
John and Jane always purchased multiple Swans kids packs each year (generally around 10) for disadvantaged children.
A warm, funny, engaging and gentle man - in every sense of the word.
From all Swans Ambassadors and everyone at the club who had any contact with John we convey our sincere condolences to Jane, and his children Sophie/Alice/Ben and Sam and his eight grandchildren as well as his stepchildren and all their respective families.
That last quarter on Sunday was for you John.
Vale our great friend John Gregg.