Author, 'The Happiness Box'
Sir David Griffin was born at Leura, New South Wales, on July 8, 1915. Educated at Cranbrook School, Sydney, he graduated in law from Sydney University in 1939.
On Good Friday 1941, five weeks after marrying Jean Whyte, Griffin departed for Malaya with the 8th Australian Division, 2nd AIF. Captured at the fall of Singapore (February 15, 1942), he spent the next three years and seven months in Changi as a POW.
After the war, Griffin became associate to a High Court judge, Sir Dudley Williams, before entering private practice as a solicitor. In 1965 he left the law and became executive chairman of Nabalco which built and operated the Gove bauxite mine and alumina plant. He was the chairman of a number of Australian subsidiaries of international companies including Barclays. Griffin was also a member of the General Council of Assicurazioni Generali and a director of John Fairfax and Sons Limited. He served on many organisations, from the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW, the Boy Scouts to the Red Cross. He appeared regularly on Any Questions, on both radio and television.
He was an Alderman of the City of Sydney from 1965 and became Lord Mayor of Sydney in 1972.
Nearly 50 years after WW2, Griffin collated a collection of poems written by Changi men, and arranged public performances of the poetry. These performances began in Australia and travelled to Singapore and London. In 2002 he published 'Changi Days: The Prisoner as Poet', an anthology in which he described the poems as "messages of anguish, loneliness, hope and even humour".
In 1972 Griffin was appointed CBE for services to industry. He was knighted in 1974 for public service. Sir David died in 2004 and Jean Griffin in 2011 at Bowral, NSW. They are survived by their two sons Edward and Alastair and three grandchildren.
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