Sir Graham Lowe - Club Otago Lunch November 2019
What fine entertainment Sir Graham Lowe gave us at the year’s final Club Otago lunch.
Sir Graham regaled the audience with stories about:
His health – he is a medical marvel having survived several strokes, triple heart by-pass surgery, a brain aneurysm and a number of other episodes which threatened to take his life through the 1990s;
His 12 dynamic principles – these are pillars of success which can be applied in all areas of life to generate personal success and to build successful teams, whether on the playing field, in a family environment or in business. The principles are now taught widely in high schools throughout the country, in prisons (for staff and inmates) and in the corporate world;
His rugby league coaching career – Sir Graham remains the only non-Australian to coach a State of Origin team, he guided both Wigan and Manly to unprecedented success, and his Kiwi team of the 1983 was the first to beat the Aussies in more than a decade.
His family – with married daughters, Sir Graham’s home life now revolves around twin teenaged boys, for whom he wrote a book Me and My Little Blokes. The book started off as a letter to his sons where Sir Graham put into words the pride and joy their presence gave him when they were born through to this very day.
Among the dozens of hilarious stories Sir Graham told were his annoyance at the neuro-surgeon who, on the other side of the curtain around his hospital bed, told his wife Karen he was unlikely to survive the aneurysm (“I might have had a brain scare but I could still hear” and the surgeon was told in no uncertain terms the curtain provided no privacy), he blamed the excitement of working alongside Tina Turner during the Simply the Best NRL campaign for causing the aneurysm in the first place, and – despite leaving Otahuhu College at the age of 15 – recently being voted one of the school’s outstanding former pupils (“I can’t even remember having been there.”)
He is also querulous as to the value currently placed on sports science with teams (the likes of testing G forces, cardiovascular capabilities et al) when the most important piece of the jigsaw was missing – “can these blokes actually play the game?”
Sir Graham made a special trip south in recognition of the value Club Otago members lend to the work of the Otago Medical Research Foundation. He has generously offered a corporate mentoring session, where his 12 principles are outlined in person, as an auction item at A Night to Remember 2020 next February.