JOHN GRANVILLE

Posted On July 14th, 2013 -

JOHN GRANVILLE Born in the Red Fort, New Delhi, India, March 1935, the first of three sons to Fort Commander, Major William Henry Bean, RIASC, and Elsie May nee Ayling. The family would leave the summer heat of New Delhi and travel by train to Lake Dahl in the mountains of Kashmir. On one journey, he could not understand why one family was taking their grandparents off the train and leaving them at the train station because they could no longer support them. At age 10, As India was progressing towards independence, his family sailed to UK passing through the Suez Canal on VE day May 1945 with two German war boats trailing behind. A free bottle of beer, bar of chocolate and a shilling was given to each passenger regardless of age to celebrate. The 3 siblings swapped their beer with sailors for chocolate or a shilling. His family settled in Sussex. Life in England, post -WWll consisted of rations and vegetable gardens tended by children were all common. The family had hens so they were able to barter for other necessities. John’s love of travel began early in life. At age 15, having saved money from odd jobs, gardening, selling eggs, he bicycled off thru several countries to attend the European Council Meeting. He spent summers in Sweden and the South of France as an English language tutor. He entered the British RASC and graduated 2nd in his class. As a Lieutenant, he served two years in Penang Malaya. Upon returning to England he entered Magdalen College, Oxford University on scholarship and graduated ‘ 55 & ’56. He worked several years in advertising in Milan, Italy and spoke fluent Italian and French enjoying ‘La Dolce Vita’. Armed with wit, intelligence and charm, he sailed under the Verrazano Bridge on the SSnited States arriving in NYC, September 1963 with a promise of a job and $500 cash. He worked on Madison Avenue for several advertising and consumer product companies. At Philip Morris, USA he was Brand Manager for Benson Hedges and later Virginia Slims. He was instrumental in promoting the first major women’s sporting competition, The Virginia Slims Invitational Tennis Tournament, featuring Billie Jean King, Rosie Casals and Chris Evert. This was the first time women athletes were paid comparable prize money as male athletes. He dabbled in real estate in NYC, the Hamptons and Tortola, BVI. He purchased an 1840 brownstone In the King- Charlton -Vandam Historical district with a business partner for $85K in 1968. Obtained a payday loan from the local social club at the corner charging 25% interest rates to make the down payment. Two years later purchased the brownstone next door. In the Hamptons, moved a small Victorian cottage in Water Mill about 500 feet from the right side of the LIRR tracks to the wrong side. After retiring from Philip Morris, USA did international marketing consultant work before moving to Hawaii in the early 1980’s. A past President of the Hawaii Loa Ridge Homeowners Association, John was objective, focused and a tough negotiator. He hated conflict but relished a good hot debate of political, economic or social issues. He loved history, music, opera, gardens, architecture and the classics. He is survived by two brothers, David and Robin and several nieces and nephews in England. John’s remains were donated to the Univ. of Hawaii Medical School’s Willed Body Program for medical research. Friends held a celebration of life in Honolulu. His family held a memorial in England on 07July13. Contributions in memory of John may be made to your favorite charity or to Magdalen College thru The Americans for Oxford, Inc., 500 Fifth Avenue, 32nd flr, NY, NY 10110. I’m off to eager student’s hands and then, through fire, my small starstuff paddled to the ocean tides. So I, in many years to come, may fall on highest mounts, flow down the holy river, Dewali nights around, swim again where Shelley swam and died, pass Verrazano’s lovely span, wash up on Hampton golden dunes where love and I did lie and come to England’s green and pleasant fields, I, Rotherman, will join it’s tiny stream again and drift, with cricket sounds around, past bluebelled woods, pubs, schools and sacred stones, back here to my sweet home. These all I’ve lived and loved, and been loved too. So what was lost is found, was old is now brand new. To those I’ve loved my dearest thanks, and now, adieu! RED FORT, INDIA 08 Mar 1935 JOHN GRANVILLE HONOLULU, USA 12 May 2013


- Denotes U.S. Military Veteran