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Thorne, Eric

Former Head of the School of Business at Monash Gippsland, Professor Eric Thorne, died peacefully in Sale on August 25th, 2017. A memorial service was held in Sale attended by friends and family on Monday.

Eric was born in London in 1927. Soon after, the family moved to the Midlands where Eric spent most of his years until emigrating to Australia in 1983. As a young man Eric trained as an engineer and served with the British Army in Palestine and Greece in the years immediately after that the Second World War.

In 1950 Eric married Esme Startin and together they had three children, Jennifer, Erica and Louise. Eric took a keen interest in politics all his life and joined the Labour Party. He stood for Parliament in the 1955 and 1959 British General Elections.

Later in his career Eric moved into education and became Principal Lecturer in Industrial Relations at Lanchester Polytechnic (now Coventry University). After a staff exchange with the Gippsland Institute of Advanced Education in 1982, Eric was offered the permanent position of Head of the School of Business and he and Esme emigrated to Australia in 1983. Eric served for nearly 10 years as Head of the Business School and took a leading role in the negotiations with Monash University during the amalgamation in the early 1990s.

In retirement Eric continued to play a significant role in the Gippsland community presiding over the Gippsland branch of the Australian Institute of Management, the Sale branch of Probus and the University of the Third Age.

Eric will be sorely missed by his many friends and colleagues in Gippsland as well as his family in Australia and in the UK.