During October the NZIIA was saddened to learn that life member Stuart McMillan had lost his battle with cancer. He made a long and valuable contribution not only to the Institute but also, as one of the country's leading journalists, to general public understanding of international issues.
Born in Dunedin, in a family with a strong non-conformist tradition, Stuart was educated at High Street School and Otago Boys' High School. He attended Otago University from 1953 to 1956, graduating with a BA; during his student days he was involved in producing the Revue magazine. He was also obliged to do compulsory military training.
In 1959 Stuart joined the Christchurch Press, beginning a 38-year career with the paper which, for many years, included the difficult task of leader writing. His colleagues respected his abilities and qualities: 'his tact and kindness were unfailing', one recalls. He was a rare breed among this country's journalists, one who focused on the wider world and New Zealand's role in it at a time when it was not easy to find informed comment by New Zealanders on such topics. Former NZIIA director Brian Lynch paid tribute in his eulogy at Stuart's memorial service: 'Stuart was a patriot in the purest meaning of the term. He had a deeply felt and unwavering sense of this country's identity and its destiny.' Characterised by meticulous research, astute analysis and measured exposition, his corpus of work has lasting value for scholars of New Zealand's international affairs.
Described by another eulogist, Peter Harris, as a 'warm-hearted, caring, kind man', Stuart enjoyed a 60-year partnership with his wife Nancy (Rouse), which produced three daughters and a son. They were both stalwart members of the NZIIA's Christchurch branch, which he chaired from 1993 to 1999. His long service to the branch was recognised by his election as an NZIIA honorary vice president in 2006, and six years later he was made a life member.
Awarded an Anzac fellowship in 1976, Stuart spent a productive time at the Australian National University, which underpinned his later perceptive comments on Australia-New Zealand relations. He was an adjunct fellow in the School of Social and Political Sciences at Canterbury University and a research associate in the National Centre for Research on Europe, and also spent time in Japan. During the 1980s he weighed in on the controversy over American ship visits which led to the termination of New Zealand's role in ANZUS...