On 12 January 2011 Rev. Keith Clifton Griffith MBE sadly passed away after a short period of illness and will be sorely missed by his wife Helen, three sons and their respective young families. Our Society executive, one of whom had known Keith for almost 40 years and was able to attend Keith’s funeral held in Porirua, are so grateful for his valuable contribution to our Society’s direction as set out in our revised Constitution (see Objectives tab on our website homepage or go to www.societies.govt.nz and search under Inc. Soc. No. 217833).
Keith, who was guest speaker at our Society’s AGM held on 30 June 2010, and who in 1988 was awarded an MBE for services to adoption research, publications and formation of adoption support networks; emphasised in his address the importance of adopting three guiding principles in all charitable work: truth, openness (or transparency) and integrity. The Society executive has sought to follow his advice and we found his AGM talk involving his account of his own charitable work, most inspirational.Keith became a key member of the team which brought about dramatic reform of adoption law in New Zealand via the enactment of the-then New Lynn MP Jonathan Hunt’s Adult Adoption Information Act 1985. The legislation freed up information relating to adult adoptees and their birth parents.
Keith was not a lobbyist in any political sense of the word. Nor did he engage in any political advocasy. He never belonged to any issues- based group agitating publicly for legislative change or reform. He was a very shy man of few words and yet when he spoke, the courage of his convictions, genuine humility and warm and vibrant Christian faith shone forth – directing those willing to listen – to the truth of a matter. Having seen the truth they felt compelled to act on it.
He inspired change in hearts and minds by engaging in tireless and quality research over many years to determine the truth on a given subject and then making his findings available to government agencies who were then able to use the information to effect change etc.
For more details on his life see: http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/obituaries/4594461/Adoptee-spurred-battle-for-law-reform-to-enable-access-to-birth-information