Sir James Hardy OBE will be recognised today for his contribution to the wine and sporting world with a state funeral.
Hardy, also known as Gentleman Jim, passed away peacefully last Thursday in Adelaide at the age of 90. He leaves a legacy as a key personage in Australia’s wine industry, a contributor to his community, and an acclaimed sportsman.
Hardy’s great grandfather Sir Thomas Hardy founded Hardy’s Wines in 1853, and Hardy first joined the brand as a shipping clerk in the centenary year of 1953. By 1981 he entered the role of chairman, and later took on the role of non-executive director in 1992. Hardy remained dedicated to the Hardy’s brand up until his death, with members of the team fondly remembering his regular visits and warm demeanour.
“While Sir James is perhaps best known for his sailing and Olympic achievements, we would like to honour his immeasurable contribution to the Australian wine industry and for faithfully continuing the legacy of Hardys Wines that his great grandfather Sir Thomas Hardy founded 170 years ago,” said a spokesperson for Accolade Wines.
Throughout his competitive sailing career, Hardy competed in the Tokyo 1964 and Mexico City 1968 Olympic Games and skippered Australian boats in the 1970, 1974, and 1980 America’s Cup challenges. Hardy was a key advisor to the team that won the 1983 America’s Cup, the first time a non-American team had done so in 132 years. Hardy was also involved in a number of charitable organisations, including serving on the executive committee of the Neurosurgical Research Foundation of South Australia for 25 years.
Hardy’s impressive legacy will be honoured today by the family and community that he served throughout his life. Hosted by the South Australian State Government, the state funeral will be held at 1pm today, Friday 23 June, at Hardy’s alma mater, St Peter’s College, Hackney.