We were saddened to hear that, Old Princethorpian, Martin Heffron had passed away in Maitland, Newcastle, NSW, Australia, in December.
Martin, who was 58, was married to Meg and has two sons Thomas and Sean. He was a highly respected Chartered Accountant who had co-founded a successful pension consultancy.
He attended Princethorpe College from 1973 to 1980, joining the school from St Bede's. He left the College after completing Sixth Form and went on to study at Nottingham University. While at school he played for the 1st XV Rugby team and his interest and commitment to sport continued throughout his life.
Martin’s good friend Kieran Cahill remembers him here:
"Martin and I first meet in September 1976 at Princethorpe when I started ‘C’ Form. Martin had been at St Bede's College for two years, so he was already an old boy. We got to know each other over the next few years, I am not sure how that happened as Martin was very sporty, he was in the school Basketball and Rugby teams, but we seemed to get along as a good group of friends, including Eamonn O’Brien, Anthony Jarvis, Michael Kendrick and others.
As weekly boarders in the Lower Sixth (1979) we shared a room in the Covent, Martin was Head of House – Benet or Moore I can’t remember which.
Over the next few years Martin got an honours degree in Zoology from Nottingham University, where I visited him a few times and we went on a few short holidays together. Near to the end of his course, due to external world events, the troubles on South Georgia, he lost the opportunity to do a PhD, so decided to become an Accountant instead.
Martin exceled in his accounting training and became a Charted Accountant. After he got married, he took an opportunity with Coopers & Lybrand to relocate to Sydney, Australia in 1986. I had always wanted to visit Australia so in 1988 I took advantage of his spare room to use as a base spending three months traveling around New South Wales, the Northern Territories and Queensland and going to events in Sydney.
Martin and I lost contact between 1996 and 2006, but on my return to Australia in 2007 we reconnected, and it was always a pleasure to talk in person usually when Martin was in Brisbane for work.
Martin with Meg his second wife had started their own business, moving out of the big city (Sydney) to Maitland in the Hunter Valley, two hours north. The business they set up provides administration and professional services to the SMSF (personal pensions) industry and over the years has become one of the biggest and most highly regarded in the country. Martin undertook several roles in the business as it grew over the years, there were many discussions of where and how they wanted to position the business and how to look after their staff. I had the privilege of hearing about these as a silent friend and sounding board.
Last year Martin had was diagnosed with an aggressive form of skin cancer, and had two major operations, followed by Radio and Chemotherapy. I had plans to travel down to Maitland to support Martin like he did for me when I went through stomach cancer ten years earlier, he would fly up to Brisbane, just to be with me for the day and giving my wife a few hours for herself. However, COVID kept getting in the way. Two days away from the end of his treatment he had a massive heart attack and passed away in the arms of his wife Meg, with his eldest son Tom nearby.
Although Martin and I were not in each other’s lives every day, we were close having shared so much of our lives. He was one of the most thoughtful, intelligent, kind people I have ever known. I am missing him, often wishing he was here, especially when something happens and I think, I will share that with Martin when we next speak."
You can read Martin’s Eulogy written by his wife Meg here and the Order Of Service here.
The College remembers Martin as a naturally affable young man who made it his business to get along with everyone. He was someone who was imbued fully with the Princethorpe spirit. We send our condolences to his family and friends.