Albert Raymond (Ray)BLANK

Albert Raymond (Ray) Blank was born in 1887, the son of John Albert and Charlotte Elizabeth (nee Parker) Blank.

The Headmaster of Fendalton School, in Christchurch from 1922 until 1949, Albert was a keen swimmer, cricketer, rower, golfer and footballer, As a 15-year-old school-boy, Albert was recognised by the Royal Humane Society for rescuing Alfred Edwin Smith from drowning while Smith was swimming at New Brighton beach. It was reported that the rescue carried special risk, owing to the heavy sea and the danger of being dashed against the piles of the pier.

Golf was Blank’s favourite sport, and he was the winner of a number of Canterbury golf titles. A President of the New Zealand Golf Association, Blank was involved in the design and development of several Christchurch golf courses.

He was involved in rugby and cricket as a player and administrator, rowed for the Canterbury club, founded the Ascot Tennis Club in New Brighton and founded the Canterbury Surf Life Saving Association and the Waimairi and North Beach Surf Life-Saving Clubs.

On 2 April 1913, Ray married Louisa Beatrice Cunninghame at Holy Trinity Church, Avonside, with whom he subsequently raised two sons and two daughters.

As noted in the above article, Blank was a vocal advocate for amateur sport and the role of sporting organisations in the community. He became a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 1953, for his services to education.

Albert Blank died on 13 May 1963 at the age of 76.

Picture: The Yaldhurst Shield being presented to the students of Fendalton School in 1938.