Anthony Aubrey Kenward [Tony ] Gifford [O.A.M.]
Tony Gifford was awarded Life Membership of The Australian Schools Rugby Union for his dedicated and exceptional services to that body in his role as Treasurer from 1978 till 1991 and for the wonderful work he and his wife Bunny undertook at the Schools’ Championships in that time.
Tony had been an exceptional sportsperson and administrator. He played cricket for Kent in the U.K. as an excellent spin bowler and played with or against many of the England stars of that time.
During World War 2 , he was commissioned as an Officer in the Indian Army serving in the Middle East. While on duty there he was involved in a life-threatening motor accident and had to be repatriated back to England.
On the advice of his doctors he immigrated to Australia so that he would benefit medically from a warmer climate.
Here he took up a teaching appointment at Church Grammar School in Tasmania which was filled up by another teaching appointment at St Peter’s College in Adelaide.From there he moved to Knox Grammar in Sydney where he was to remain for 32 fruitful and rewarding years many of those in the role of House Parents with Bunny.
While at Knox he became founder and Secretary of The Australian School Cricket Council from where he started Australian Youth Cricket guiding it through the period 1966-1981. During this time he either coached or managed Australian Under 19 Teams and visited every cricket playing country in one of those capacities.
For his services to this sport he was awarded The Certificate of Distinguished Services to Australian Cricket.
During these years Tony was also a dedicated member of the N.S.W Rugby Union , serving as a delegate from 1974 until 1989. In 1978 he nominated for and was appointed Treasurer of the senior body, The Australian Schools’ Rugby Union and served with distinction from that time until he stood down in 1991.
Under his financial control and expertise the Union prospered and experienced a period of monetary stability. It had been a time of many successful Championships and internal Representative games or tours overseas which were always a big demand on finances but under his tutelage stability reigned.
In 2010 Tony was awarded the Order Of Australia Medal in The Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to Sport and the Community. An honour fully deserved.
Upon his retirement from Knox , Tony and Bunny spent their time relaxing and enjoying life in their home at Palm Beach in Sydney.
Sadly Bunny passed away in 2014. Tony died after a short illness on Feb 18th 2016 mourned by his daughter and her husband and family and a large congregation of sporting dignitaries and representatives from Knox College where he had had such a profound influence.
The Schools Union is justly proud to list this willing and faithful supporter among its list of Life Members.
Tony Gifford was a long serving teacher at Knox Grammar in Sydney, thirty years.
As well as his work for schools rugby he coached the Australian Schools cricket team for a number of years.
He was a long time coach of the Knox First XI securing many Premierships over the years.
Tony was the Treasurer of the Australian Schools Rugby Union for many years. This period included difficult times financially and it was Tony’s skill and wisdom that kept the ASRU in good shape.
Tony was ever present at Schools Rugby events—Championships, International Tests and other games He was always organising helping and making the work of others less onerous.
He produced a number of ASRU souvenirs which he had on sale at “Tony’s shop” at these events. These were very popular and were especially valuable as presentation items to visiting teams and on overseas tours.
He was awarded the Medal in the Order of Australia (OAM) for his services to schools.