The flag at Auckland Grammar School flew at half-mast yesterday to mark the funeral of a former pupil, long-standing board member and philanthropist John Wigglesworth.

Son Paul Wigglesworth said around 700 people attended the funeral at St Mary's in Holy Trinity Cathedral, Parnell.

The Queen's Birthday honour recipient had a long career at accountants Porter Wigglesworth and Grayburn. He retired from there in 1993 but civic and community projects were a major part of his life.

Wigglesworth with artist Dick Frizzell and wife Sondra Wigglesworth. Photo / Norrie Montgomerie
Wigglesworth with artist Dick Frizzell and wife Sondra Wigglesworth. Photo / Norrie Montgomerie

In 1967 he became a founding trustee of Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand.


"As a board member, he spent 30 years raising funds for this cause and acted as its president during six of those," his son said.

He was a founding trustee of the Auckland Library Heritage Trust, raising over a $1 million during 20 years of involvement for the preservation and safe storage of its valuable and rare book collection.

"He donated his time and financial expertise to many charities," Paul Wigglesworth said.

He was a trustee of Auckland Art Gallery's foundation which undertook the $90m fundraising campaign to extend the building and also a member of the Mackelvie Trust Board, becoming its chairman in 1990.

He was Rotary Club of Auckland president and a member of the Northern Club and Auckland Club for more than 50 years.

He was president and life member of the Auckland Water Ski Club and held the same two positions at the New Zealand Water Ski Association.

He had served as a director of eight listed companies including Corporate Investments, Montana Wines, Optical Holdings and New Zealand Newspapers.

In 2013, he was made an Officer of the New Zealand of Order of Merit for his services to the arts, water skiing and the community.


His death notice this week said he was "a true gentleman" and his son said his father bought a Colin McCahon painting from his hospital bed shortly before he died.

He is survived by wife Sondra and family.