Funeral DetailsFuneral: 3:00PM
Thursday 3rd April 2014 at The Boulevard Restaurant, 121 Studley Park Rd, Kew, VIC
Memories of John Dalton (Jack) Clancy
13.7.1934 - 23.3.2014
Sportsman, teacher, scholar,loving family man, music lover, wine appreciator, good friend. Died peacefully after a long illness. Loved and admired by his family Patsy, Dave and Rob, Nicola and Sophie, beloved Pa of Ben, Charlie, Alice and Laurie.
A private cremation will be held on Thursday, 27 March 2014 with a celebration of Jack's life at The Boulevard Restaurant, 121 Studley Park Road, Kew (enter from Walmer St.) on Thursday, 3 April 2014 at 3pm.
Jack Clancy of the overflowing
Digitally altered image.
Jack Clancy played one game for Fitzroy, sort of. He was picked as 20th man for the first game of 1957, in which the Lions downed Melbourne, the reigning premier, at Brunswick Street. He remembered coach Bill Stephens' rousing pre-match address, also that the dressing gown was scratchy. Stephen remembered that no man ever sat on the pine as impressively as Clancy.
Though Clancy didn't get on that day, he was sure his time would come. But six weeks later, he did his knee in a reserves game against Collingwood. Two years later, back at Uni Blacks, his alma mater, he did his other knee.
Not in the least disenchanted, he played on for the then formidable Blacks, and later for more social Reds, and at length filled every imaginable postion at both clubs, also for the umbrella Melbourne University Football Club, from decorated player and president to coach of the under-19s, sometimes doubling on match days as boundary or goal umpire. For more than 30 years, he hosted the Blacks' best and fairest count at his Camberwell home. His involvement with the club stretched almost to 60 years.
Clancy was large in life, and larger than it. A schoolmate remembers him protesting the preoccupation with science. At RMIT, says art historian and contemporary Vincent O'Donnell, he taught English to engineers, fitters and turners and boilermakers, "to let them see a life beyond the lathe".
As head of humanities, he pioneered courses in media, cinema, communications and semiotics. He also became secretary of the Friends of the ABC. His spectrum of interests was broad, but fine. A friend remembered their conversations thus: "We ranged more widely, and occasionally deeply, into drama, the arts, the perfidies of the worlds of arts and publishing, football, cricket, the political angst of the left and the iniquities of global capitalism."
At RMIT, he never missed a boozy annual celebration of Karl Marx's birthday. Can't you just hear Andrew Bolt turning in his swivel chair?
Wine was a particular passion, also music. Another friend recalled that his aim in retirement was to listen to all the Schubert lieder. One a day, it would take him two years, he figured. Clancy hosted memorable Melbourne Cup parties, appeared on Sale of the Century, wrote a book on the 1956 Olympic torch relay and loved his garden.
"I remember him grumbling about misuse of nouns as verbs and making scathing denunciations of injustice and meanness," said another old friend, "But I don’t remember him ever using his wit unkindly." Hawthorn premiership player and Blacks stalwart Ray Wilson called him a bon vivant, a Renaissance man, but also "an upmarket version of Joffa".
This bemused O'Donnell when they first met. "At Sydney university, where I had studied, such an adherence to a football code would be unacceptable unless you were an engineer," he said. Rugby union would hint at "lingering immaturity", league to a "quite unsatisfactory social background". "But Jack was an eye-opener. In one moment, he was discussing the French Nouvelle Vague, or the films of Howard Hawks, the next the prospect of a flag for his beloved Fitzroy."
In Melbourne, blessedly, this established Clancy not as unusual, but foremost of a kind, who perceive beauty in sport as they see it in the arts. Two years ago, David Parkin - whose son Anthony once coached the Blacks - wrote that the club's culture was the best he had known, including Hawthorn's and Carlton's. Clancy personified it. It was not entirely innocent. En route by train to an intervarsity carnival in Adelaide, Clancy ended up spending a night in the Ararat lock-up, consequence of a card game. Another time in Perth, a steamroller somehow ended up in a canal.
Clancy regretted the decline of the powerhouse Blacks in the `80s and `90s, but almost alone did not waver in his dedication. When Blacks and Reds found themselves improbably together in E grade, Clancy donated a cup. Clancy's wife, Pat, is a world-renown translator of French literature, rarely seen at the football, but doubtlessly was the inspiration for the name of the Rouge et Noir Cup, named after a Stendhal novel. Inaugurating the cup, Clancy made his speech entirely in French!
"As he moved from being a contemporary of young players to an elder statesman many decades their senior, his ability to communicate with, understand and mentor them was amazing," said Wilson. "Whether a player’s interest was sport, literature, theatre, music, politics - or in just growing up a little - Jack was a go-to man for all seasons. All delivered with the hand of friendship and respect for the individual, no matter if it was the star player in the seniors or the trainer for the clubbies."
Clancy quietly rejoiced in the Blacks' rehabilitation to A grade, even as a long illness slowly overtook him. He died last week, aged 79. When he retired from RMIT, a lecture was instituted and named in his honour. "It's not the Jack Clancy memorial lecture," he would growl to O'Donnell, who added: "I guess he won't mind if the name is changed now."
Obituary by Dr. Vincent O'Donnell, published on www.screenhub.com.au
An Australian pioneer of cinema studies, Professor Jack Clancy, has died aged 79 years.
In the mid-1960s, when an Australian cinema was only a page in our pre-WW II history, Jack Clancy was teaching English to engineers, fitters and turners and boilermakers at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, now RMIT University.
Teaching humanities to the trade students was, he said, to broaden the post-secondary education experience of the students, to let them see a life beyond the lathe. In a similar way, Professor Hunter at the University of Sydney was packing his chemical engineering students off to the English Department for a couple of hours a week.
Already having a keen interest in the cinema from his own university days, Clancy recognised in the cinema the opportunity to bring literature to his students by stealth. Thus he created two electives, Classic Hollywood Cinema and, in second semester, Classic European Cinema. It was the beginning of cinema studies at a tertiary level in Australia.
Prior to the 1960s, film schools where they existed were production centered, like the Moscow Film School, the first in the world to focus on film, established in 1919, and the USC School of Cinematic Arts, established in 1929. Criticism and analysis was to support insight for production not be a major theme for study. The spread of television post-WW II and the recognition of the power and authority it wielded, stimulated academic interest in screen culture which found a well-established critical conversation about the cinema in the pages of Cahiers du Cinema as well as Movie, Film Comment and volumes of critical essays like the Penguin Film Review.
I first met Jack Clancy when I took responsibility for the Experimental Film Fund (EFF). The fund, together with a film school and the Australian Film Development Corporation, were programs established by Prime Minister John Gorton on the recommendations of the Film Committee of the Australian Council for the Arts, to reinvigorate a film production industry in Australia. But public money cannot be dished out willy-nilly so a bureaucratic process had quickly evolved to make judgements on whose project would receive support.
Jack Clancy was on the Melbourne panel that made recommendation on who should get EFF funds in Victoria. Another panel was based in Sydney, and ad hoc panels worked in Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, made up of local film makers and academics and a member of the Sydney or Melbourne panel. A Hobart panel was formed if there were sufficient applicants, otherwise the applicants got a free trip to Melbourne.
Jack Clancy was the second Melbourne academic I had encountered. The first was Ian Turner and the quite, quite, extraordinary thing about them both was they were football tragics. I later discovered it is quite a Melbourne academic thing. At Sydney University where I had studied, such an adherence to a football codes would be unacceptable unless you were an engineer. In any case, adherence to Rugby Union would suggest lingering immaturity and a private school education and to Rugby League, a quite unsatisfactory social background and probable from the western suburbs.
But Jack was an eye opener. In one moment he was discussing the French Nouvelle Vague or the films of Howard Hawks, the next the prospect of a flag for his beloved Fitzroy. Jack continued to support Fitzroy long after the team was sold down the road to a northern state capital by a mercantile and uncaring AFL.
Jack later changed my life. I encountered him having a smoke outside the awards ceremony for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards about 1992. He was attending with his wife Pat who has an interest in the Dinny O'Hearn Prize for Literary Translation. She went on to win the prize in 2003 for her translation of ‘Voyage to Desolation Island’ by Jean-Paul Kauffmann.
I was very rested between engagements and Jack suggested I give a guest lecture to his cinema studies students… it would pay $120 for a two hour session. I chose to talk about the state film corporations having worked for two and been close to all the others except the NSW Film Corporation. At the end of the lecture... not heavily attended… Jack said ‘that story would make a great subject for thesis. Think about it.’ And the rest is, as they say, History.
Jack supervised my MA thesis, a comparative study of the performance of the SA Film Corporation and the Victorian Film Corporation measure against critical and commercial imperatives, and was second supervisor on my PhD, having by that time retired.
The Jack Clancy Lecture was instituted by RMIT University on his retirement in recognition of his pioneering contribution, first the cinema studies, then media studies. It is not the Jack Clancy Memorial Lecture he used to growl. I guess he won’t mind if the name is changed now.
|There are 32 personal tributes|
April 23rd, 2014 at 3:01 pm
Jack was the head of the Department of Communication Studies when I joined RMIT in 1992. As a junior member of staff then, I did not have to report to Jack. But I recall one Department meeting where the discussion went into sports and footy--which were alien to a relatively new migrant that I was--which turned out more lively than the business at hand! I also recall how Jack and his wife opened up their house and garden to host and welcome new international students, particularly in the early years of the Professional Communication degree. I remember Jack's generosity of spirit especially when he agreed to put his name before the annual lecture that our then PR students organised. And as everyone remembers now, he used to remind us all then that "it's NOT the Jack Clancy Memorial Lecture". Perhaps now is a good time to again celebrate Jack's legacy to RMIT, Australian media, the many media and communication students and friends whose lives he has touched, mine included.
|Colin R. Coster|
April 17th, 2014 at 10:39 am
Jack was my lecturer at RMIT for Communication and Film during the Media studies course which I attended 1976-78 and again to upgrade 1981-82. He was our best lecturer because of his wonderful personality and sense of humour. We reconnected some years later at his home in Camberwell for the Media Studies reunion meeting which became a regular feature over the years. It was a wonderful time for us all we ex-students and it pleased Jack to hear of all our different successes in the 'real' world. As a result of this reconnection I restored some antique furniture for Jack and Pat which gave me further insight into their busy and productive lives. I always felt very welcome at their home and it felt to me like visiting a favourite uncle and aunt rather than just clients for whom I was repairing furniture. This closeness encouraged me to later ask Jack for help in a difficult financial situation which he happily did and I was later able to repay him. To me Jack was a great man because despite all his many achievements and honours he remained 'grounded' and centred on the family and human values of honesty and decency. I hope I am a better human being for having known him.
|Neville & Robyn Taylor|
April 14th, 2014 at 10:02 am (edited)
In our time at Blacks in a coaching capacity we experienced a huge range of emotions, overwhelmingly the love and the passion of the "Blackers" from everone, we still experience that as the years go on. It has never been better demonstrated in every way than by one Jack Clancy. It was our privilege and pleasure to have met and been welcomed at every meeting by Jack who was intelligent and articulate in his football & life and always incredibly supportive no matter the situation. We will miss him when we go to a game but he will never be far from our thoughts. We are so much the better for having him in our life. Love and thoughts to the Clancy Family.
April 4th, 2014 at 10:19 am (edited)
Jack Clancy Tribute Speech, delivered by Ray Wilson at Jack Clancy's wake. Most of the tributes to Jack have emphasized his extensive range of disciplines and interests. But we at University Blacks, given his 59 years of commitment to the club, could be forgiven for thinking it was his sole passion. Sort of an upmarket version of Collingwood’s Joffa. With others covering Jack the family man, Jack the academic, Jack the innovator in film studies, Jack the crusader for the ABC, Jack the bon vivant, to name a few of this extraordinary man’s extraordinary talents, my focus falls to Jack and football. First some facts. After a couple of seasons starring for the Blacks, one week mid season in 1957 Fitzroy selected him in the senior VFL team as a reserve. No interchange then, and Jack never took the field. A knee injury conspired to make it his only game. His coach Bill Stephen spoke at a luncheon in 2006 for Jack’s 50 years of service, and Bill reported that “no-one ever sat on a bench as well as Jack Clancy”. He returned to the Blacks, played seniors for a few years, and in the University Reds and Blacks Reserves for what seemed forever. He won two best player in the competition awards, and captained and coached teams to premierships. He is in the Reds, now Fitzroy Reds, Team of the Century, and is honoured in the Melbourne University Team of the Modern Era, the period post 1945. Once retired, he held every possible office at the Blacks and the umbrella MUFC from chairman down. As he moved from being a contemporary of young players to an elder statesman, his ability to communicate with, understand and mentor them was amazing. It was all delivered with the hand of friendship and respect for the individual, no matter if it was the star player in the Seniors or the trainer for the Clubbies. I am so pleased my sons Tony and Ned, who are here today, knew him so well. A parent can’t buy that sort of help. It is commonly said the test of a person is not in times of triumph, but adversity. Jack was one of only two long term supporters who, week after long week, followed the club in its 17 year slide from A Grade to E Grade by the 1990’s. Heroics of A Grade clashes with Old Xaverians and Old Scotch must have been distant memories while watching Blacks players being pulverized in the winter mud at Fawkner and Thomastown. Around such men is a culture moulded. On the morning of the Blacks winning B Grade Grand Final in 2012, The Age carried a piece on the competing clubs. It quoted AFL legend David Parkin, who has stayed involved with the Blacks since his son coached us 10 years ago, as saying ”I’d have to say that the culture at the Blacks is the best culture of any footy club I’ve been involved with, including Carlton and Hawthorn” On Jack’s tribute page 1980’s player Nick Heath has written, “Matthew Arnold said "Culture is the acquainting of ourselves with the best that has been known and said in the world, and thus with the history of the human spirit."� Nick added “Seems like he knew Jack pretty well”. Now Jack was no short term operator. For 33 years the Blacks’ best player count was held in the backyard at Acheron Ave. Patsy, the award winning translator could accurately translate the French word for tolerance as “Patsy Clancy”. For thousands of men that backyard holds some of their warmest, if foggiest, memories. And for most it is their only acquaintance with the complete works of George Eliot, or Schubert’s Trout Quintet in A Major. The Blacks decent saw the historically mighty Blacks and the historically sociable Reds in the same grade, so Jack donated a cup. Paul Daffey’s book about grass roots football, Local Rites, records it “In 1998, the Rouge et Noir Cup was struck. The cup was named after the flamboyant 1836 novel, Le Rouge et le Noir by French writer Stendhal. Only in the Amateurs could football and French literature be mentioned in the same sentence.” What Daffey didn’t record was at a lunch to announce the cup Jack made the speech entirely in French, using an Irish accent. Jack is the central character in a legendary story from intervarsity trips. The University of Tasmania players were on the same overnight train to Adelaide, and a cocktail of youthful competitiveness and youthful incapacity to handle alcohol caused a card game to cease being conducted with the participants remaining seated. The ensuing disturbance led to the police boarding the train at Ararat. A Tasmanian was quick to point to Jack as the instigator, and he was promptly bundled off the train and spent the night behind bars. Days later as the two teams lined up, some Melbourne players informed the Tasmanians that Jack was an absolute animal on the field, and was hell bent on retribution for his jailing. Amazingly his direct opponent was the police informant, who suitably terrified, never set foot near Jack all day, leaving him to kick six easy goals. I’ve been back at the Blacks for just 15 years. We have won three senior premierships in the past 10 years and were a finalist in A Grade last year. I know that would have warmed Jack’s beautiful heart, by then housed in his failing body. From time to time I’m asked why I do it. I usually answer that a 160 year old club with such an admired culture, a culture which Jack Clancy helped mould in his own image and which has been such a positive influence on thousands of men, is worth the effort. What I hope I told Jack often enough is that his loyalty through the dark days was, and remains, such a powerful motivation that I and others would be ashamed not to follow his lead. All AFL clubs these days have leadership groups. The Blacks had Jack Clancy. I reckon we’ve had them covered for true leadership. Rob Clancy rang me three weeks ago to ask about holding this function at the new Pavilion at the Melbourne University Oval. Jack would have loved that. But it is not available until May. But it is planned to take Jack back to the oval for a final visit, which fittingly for Jack will last for an eternity, as will his memory at University Blacks. I have liked, admired and respected so many men and women I have met through football, but I loved Jack Clancy. I’ll miss him so much.
April 3rd, 2014 at 11:42 am
The greatest Blacker of all, all of us who were privileged to know you are better for it Jack. Yours was a life well lived. On behalf of the Bowden family I offer condolences to Patsy, Rob, Dave, Nicola, Sophie and the rest of the family. Kane Bowden