Mourning the loss of an extraordinary patron

To our great loss, one of our patrons, Sir John Jeffries, passed away in January. Sir John had long been a supporter of our work. He was generous and compassionate, and we’ll miss his guidance and encouragement.

Sir John was one of the original patrons of the Reconstructive Plastic Surgery Research Foundation (now Gillies McIndoe Foundation (GMF)), which was founded by Dr Swee Tan in 1998. Dr Tan’s original vision was to establish an independent research institute with its own premises and personnel, dedicated to relieving human suffering through fundamental research to understand the cause of:

  • disfiguring conditions (such as vascular birthmarks)
  • debilitating conditions (such as keloid scarring and Dupuytren’s contracture)
  • life-threatening conditions (such as cancer).

These developments ultimately led to the creation of the Gillies McIndoe Research Institute (GMRI). With state-of-the-art laboratories, the GMRI was officially open by the Rt Hon Sir John Key in December 2013.

Sir John believed in our cause and supported Dr Tan and the GMRI team on every step of the journey.

An influential figure who used his power for good

‘It was an enormous task to build something out of nothing,’ said Dr Tan. ‘Sir John believed in what we aspire to do, and provided guidance, wise counsel, encouragement, and ongoing support since we began our journey.’

‘We are very thankful for the valued role Sir John played and gratefully acknowledge his commitment and contribution over many years. We also offer our deepest condolences to Sir John’s family.’

In addition to his role as a patron of the GMRI, Sir John supported many other important causes. Over the course of his distinguished career Sir John was a lawyer and High Court judge. He was also Chair of the Police Complaints Authority, Chair of the New Zealand Press Council, and Commissioner of Security Warrants, among other responsibilities.


Read more about the extraordinary life of Sir John Jeffries