Sir Bob Jones and the custom-made denim suit


In the early seventies lounge bar restrictions in New Zealand began to take a bite out of the working man with the censorship of denim pants and a requirement for all would-be punters to wear slacks instead.

This seemingly unstoppable and unspoken rule was challenged by Sir Bob Jones after returning home from a business trip?abroad where he had been measured and fitted for a brand new custom-made denim suit.

Upon return and after an?attempted entry into a well-known central Wellington lounge bar, Sir Bob was told in no uncertain terms that the wearing of denim was strictly forbidden and that his presence was unwelcome.

The fact that his suit had cost him an enormous sum of money, at least enough to buy a round or two for all present, was completely ignored and ungraciously declined.

Recently some people have made an effort to strip Sir Bob of his knighthood?? a rather mean-spirited endeavour I believe, fueled by sanctimonious virtue signalling and self-driven publicity seeking.

This petition has been a complete waste of time and energy. Sir Bob is an easy target for the inevitable opportunists that every generation produces: people who hold an unearned sense of entitlement; born from a loudly professed moral authority; absent of any lived experience; and characterised by a surprising lack of humility and foresight.

But each generation also produces people who are remarkable. And Sir Bob is one of the few.

His knighthood was bestowed by the crown and no act of government can change that.

Surely of more pressing significance are the many unspoken contributions his official recognition have accounted for in the first place. The multitude of people and productive causes he has funded throughout his philanthropic career.

Sometimes knighthoods seem to come from nowhere. Each New Year’s Honours list rolls by and we see names we are familiar with alongside many others whose achievements are not widely celebrated or even known.

Sir Bob has never been unfamiliar to the public but his support for uncounted communities and causes has been immense over the years, and has been almost entirely forgotten by the mainstream media.

His support has extended to anyone, irrespective of their station or standing in life. This is, after all, the man who unashamedly funded Carmen Rupe?s bid for the Wellington Mayoralty race in 1977: a candidate espousing a platform that would make the contemporary professional victim wet with confused excitement.

Sir Bob Jones

Sir Bob is very obviously a man who sees the potential in people and also wants to shake things up; someone who stands as an example of what one individual can achieve given an opportunity and a little backing.

So, why has he been left behind?

Just another old white man? At least according to the current mantra espoused by the mainstream media.

Sir Bob is a flawed human, like all of us. But, he has earned and shared his wealth throughout his life and never advertised his charity or grace in any way.

This is why he was knighted by the crown.

After all, when you need someone to wake people up, who better than the joker wearing an all-denim custom-made suit?