A Tribute by Ivan Couchman
It is with devastating sadness to myself & the Armstrong family that I must advise you all that my dear and one of my closest friends Graham Armstrong finally stopped fighting pancreatic cancer after nearly four and a half years. Initially, he was given only six weeks to live. He passed away on Saturday 6 October 2018.
When I saw him for the last time recently he specifically mentioned the wonderful times he enjoyed at the School. With typical ‘Graham precision and organisation,’ he had planned his own funeral. He told me it will be a happy day and that there will be a party after the service where I am instructed to sing one of our rugby songs. (Fear not, if Lesley, his wife, still adheres to that program I suspect it will be “Sloop John B”) not some of the more spicy songs our rugby team were famous for! He particularly asked that anyone who remembered him from CVTHS should be notified. In typical ‘Graham style’, he never forgot those who were kind to him.
Graham was at CVTHS from 1964-1971 where he was a prominent Rugby player and superb sprinter in the School District & County Athletics teams. From the scrawny little whippersnapper at U13 he grew into an athletic, very quick winger, the first guy to play for the 1st XV in the 5th form and eventually a tough tenacious and utterly fearless No. 7 or No. 8. He was Head Boy from 1970-71, won multiple levels of colours in Rugby and athletics and he was a joint winner of the Howard Leslie Memorial Trophy in 1970-71. He went on to get a Material Science Hons Degree at the University of Bath (1971-1975) and from there a career which saw him reach the position of CEO in several companies. His passion for both codes of Rugby stayed with him throughout his life and we enjoyed several trips to Hong Kong together to watch the Hong Kong 10’s & World 7’s events.
He leaves his loving and devoted wife Lesley and two lovely, beautiful daughters Nicola and Rebecca
I cannot begin to explain what this loss means to me, suffice it to say for now that I have lost my brother from another mother. I am numb with pain.