John was a lifelong cricketer and a lifelong fan of the game. He began his playing career for St. George in the Sydney Cricket Grade competition and represented NSW as the 12th man in the Sheffield Shield on two occasions.
John eventually resettled in Canberra in 1960 and went on to play for Eastlake’s precursor club, Kingston. In 1961 John received an unexpected telegram from the Prime Minister, Robert Menzies, advising him of his selection in the Prime Minister’s XI.
“I think I've still got it, but it read: 'would you accept a position in the PM's XI versus West Indies, RG Menzies.' Would I what! I was so excited," Cope told the Canberra Times.
On February 18, 1961, Cope took his place for the Prime Minister’s XI team photo at Manuka Oval alongside the likes of Richie Benaud, Bill Lawry, Ray Lindwall and Norm O’Neill.
John was also the founding principal of Lake Ginninderra High School in 1987 and a teacher at Lyneham High School.
Given his cricket experience and career as a school teacher in Canberra, John later became chaplain for the ACT Comets.
John is also a published author and wrote the book ‘Cricket Continues on the Limestone Plains’ which covers the history of cricket in the ACT between 1993 – 2015, a sequel to ‘Cricket on the Limestone Plains’ written by Don Selth.
Cricket ACT passes on our deepest sympathies to John's family and friends.