Vale John Gordon Bain OAM

by staff

Australian Rugby Union today paid tribute to former Australian Selector and Australian Rugby Union Life Member, John Gordon Bain OAM after he passed away yesterday aged 85.

Born in Sydney in 1927, John Bain went to Sydney Grammar School, and joined the fledgling Eastwood Club after graduation.

At School, Bain played as a loose-head prop but was considered too small for representative selection. After leaving school, he joined the Eastwood Juniors and was taken under the wing of coach Bert Gunns who advised him to switch to the hooking role.

His move paid off with appearances with the Combined Western Districts junior team in 1946 the first of many representative commitments during a long Rugby career.

In 1947 Bain moved into Eastwood's grade ranks and played several matches with the reserves before becoming a regular first grade member in 1948.

After five years plying his trade with Eastwood Bain earned selection in John Solomon's Wallaby side for the 1953 visit to South Africa and in doing so became Eastwood's first Australian representative.

While he failed to win a Test Cap in any of the four international fixtures, Bain was said to have been an essential part of a team which engaged in a gruelling three-month, twenty-six match tour.

In his latter playing years with the club, he was captain-coach of a youthful fourth grade side and also held the positions of club captain, first grade coach, selector, treasurer of the Management Committee, a licensed club committeeman, a director of VRG and Eastwood's delegate to the Sydney Rugby Union.

In 1968 John Bain was appointed to the Australian selection committee where he served for 23 years between 1968 and 1990, 16 of which were served as Chairman.

His excellent administrative skills were acknowledged in 1976 when he was assigned to manage the Australian touring team to France.

Mr Bain also held positions on the Australian Under 21 Selection Committee, Australian Rugby Standards Committee, Australian Rugby World Cup Committee and the AIS Technical Committee.

Over the course of this time in Rugby John Bain received a number of well-deserved honours, including honorary life memberships of the Eastwood DRUFC and Australian Rugby Union as well as the Order of Australia Medal, bestowed upon him in 1993 ‘for his services to Rugby’.