- In Memoriam -

W.Bro. Graham John Knapman

Graham John Knapman Graham John Knapman

It is with great regret that we must report on the death of W.Bro. Graham Knapman, who sadly passed to the Grand Lodge Above on 18 January 2014.

Albeit a bit late in life, Graham followed his father, John William Knapman’s footsteps and joined De Burgh Adams’ Lodge No.446, being initiated on Wednesday, 20 March 2002, with V.W.Bro. John Dormer in the Chair. Latterly Graham twice became Master of De Burgh, in July 2010; and again in 2012.

Although it must be said not a great ritualist, as Master, W.Bro. Knapman made up for this shortcoming by being a most enthusiastic visitor to other Lodges and Masonic Constitutions – a very important aspect of Masonry. He was a regular and well-liked caller to Lodge St. Patrick in Dunedin, and in turn, he engendered many return visits from our members.

One phenomenon new visitors to De Burgh Adams’ Lodge will unlikely ever forget is that, once placed in Bro. Knapman’s care, he had a penchant for taking guests on huge tours of the New Plymouth environs “to get visitors acquainted with the Taranaki District.” These expansive ‘soirées’ often took up whole days and covered hundreds of kilometres. There was, however, no doubt that one did get well acquainted with every village, town, gallery, museum and pub in the region. (The profits of the petrol station owners of the Taranaki District may never recover to their former glory since Graham’s passing.)

Following a 25-year long career with the TSB Bank, within which he rose to become Branch Inspector, and then later (1984-1987) as an Accountant for Nissan, Graham was a natural choice for election as a Trustee of the Taranaki Masonic Trust, the body of governance for Taranaki Retirement Villages – a charity on which he was very proud to serve.

A local lad, Graham was educated at New Plymouth Boys’ High School where he studied engineering. He also played cricket for that school. Indeed, in his youth, Graham Knapman was a bit of a sports fanatic, playing tennis at Huatoki Tennis Club, table tennis at the Vogeltown Club, golf at Westown, Kaitake and Urenui Golf Clubs. He was the Secretary of the Taranaki District Golf Association from 2007 to 2014. It was, however, at indoor bowls that he excelled: he gained his Umpire’s Badge and District Coaching Badge in that sport.

Following his retirement, these latter two activities, golf and bowls, still played a big part in his life, and he organised many senior and veteran tournaments. He was also an avid railway enthusiast, especially keen on steam trains. He also kept a pocket-sized, yet quite elaborate train set in his own home – “Just to keep up my interest,” he’d say.

Bro. Knapman was invested as Provincial Grand Steward in September 2013, not long before his death, and thus it came as quite a shock to many Brethren since his passing seemed so swift. Our real sympathy though must be with the three daughters he leaves behind; Jenny, Dianne and Karen.

Graham enjoyed his Masonic career as we, his Brothers, enjoyed sharing it with him. At the service his friend, John Dormer, completed his eulogy with:
“To God, the Great Architect of the Universe, we pass Bro. Graham into your safekeeping. This our worthy Brother amongst Masons - for now and ever after.”
What more needs to be said?


Graham John Knapman
9 April 1934 – 18 January 2014

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