Vale Larry Mahaffy


It is with great sadness that I pass on the news of the passing of Larry Mahaffy.

Larry was not a Nanseikan member but he was a regular visitor to our dojo. He started Kendo late in life but had a rare passion and commitment for the art. He understood implicitly what it represented and how it fitted into his life. For a time he practiced with his son Finn at MBK-Kenshikan Dojo. Throughout his battle with cancer he continued to practice undaunted. During Covid lockdowns he regularly and enthusiastically attended our online Zoom trainings. 

My last text message exchange with him was at the end of May and we were making plans for club members to go to his house and train with him, at whatever level he felt able to. He said the doctors had exhausted all treatment options. His last text was, 

"I'd love to think I could manage a bit of suburi (walking around the block has been a struggle of late!) Stay warm!" 

Two weeks later I texted to invite him to attend dinner at our Kangeiko, and I didn't hear back. I was a little concerned but thought he probably had months to live so didn't think much of it. It was at the end of Saturday's training, when everyone was excitedly cooking said dinner after a long, cold day of training that I checked my phone and got the following message:

So to any Kendo person reading this who knew Larry, offer up some of your training to his memory, as Anna requested. He was a warm, intelligent human being who attacked with all his energy and never put himself in the centre of things (hence my unforgiveable lack of a good photo of him), but instead quietly made every gathering richer for his being there. 

The photo at top is of Fujiwara Hironobu sensei's visit to Nanseikan in July 2017. Larry would always insist on being at the back, or holding the camera, because he was 'not really a Nanseikan member'. Larry I think everyone else in the club would agree with me, you really were. We will all miss you greatly. It felt like our friendship through Kendo was only just beginning.

Larry Wallace Charles Mahaffy


A Service of Thanksgiving for the life of Larry Wallace Charles Mahaffy
will be held at St Barnabas Anglican Church,
800 Waverley Road, Glen Waverley
on Tuesday 5th July 2022 commencing at 2pm.


  1. Richard Ward1:26 pm

    Sad. RIP to a nice bloke, Larry. Condolences to Anna, Finn and Ronan


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