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|
|Judy & Murray McLeod|
April 2nd, 2014 at 7:56 pm (edited)
We first met Jack through his younger brother Laurie, a friendship that lasted more than 30 years. It was happily punctuated by many lunches, dinners and celebrations at Cup Day, family functions and election eve parties where, depending on the outcome we cried, rather than laughed into our wine. Jack always brought impressive knowledge and insights into any discussions no matter the topic but always with his endearing humility and wit. About thirty years ago he introduced me to the late piano sonatas of Schubert with the gift of an LP of Horowitz playing the D960. And only Jack could think of hosting with Patsy a sublime Schubertiad at Acheron Avenue for a small group of friends and playing carefully selected recordings by great artists of songs, chamber music and piano sonatas by the great man, all accompanied by Patsy's wonderful afternoon tea and the occasional glass. His love of Schubert was a passion that sustained him until his last hours. And as a devoted Friend of the ABC we need him here now. His football career, as we knew him, was confined to avidly supporting the Roys and when they moved to Brisbane, the Doggies. Throughout his last illness he remained aware of his condition, not wanting it to be so, but as always, carrying it with dignity. We will miss his warmth, humour, intellect, gentle nature and kindness. He always had a place at our table. Our love and sympathy go out to Patsy, Rob and David and the families.
April 2nd, 2014 at 3:53 pm
Patsy and family were very generous to allow Clance to spend so many happy hours with us on and off the footy field. We were fortunate to share in his friendship, his football skills and his love of life. Sharing a premiership and many hilarious Hookers meetings were just a few of so many memories, which were enriched by his wisdom, humour and people skills. He occasionally exceeded his brief by trying to gently coach an engineer to write better English - in this he failed, but with good humour, as in all his relationships.
April 2nd, 2014 at 12:20 pm
Dear Jack, I am forever grateful to you for teaching me to drink red wine - most of it coming from that stash you kept in the boot of your car - in that first year of the RMIT Media Studies course. Thank you also for the long and eventful career in journalism that followed. My sympathy to Patsy and family on the loss of a lovely man.
April 2nd, 2014 at 9:47 am
I’m only one of hundreds of students who owe a lot to Jack Clancy and the work he did at RMIT; the courses he established and the standards he set made it a wonderful place to study and so many ex-students are out there writing, reporting and communicating all over Australia and the world. He really did make a difference. I was extra lucky to have also known him as a friend and to have spent time with the family at home; they are special memories – sending love and sympathy to you all.
April 2nd, 2014 at 9:34 am
In 1974 a group of 30 (only half of us full time) embarked on a journey under Jack Clancy's leadership. We were the first group of students in Australia to commence tertiary studies in media (& communications). Not one of us could have comprehended how much of communications revolution was to come. Certainly as the youngest in the group, I had no concept of Jack's vision and the efforts there must have been to start this then unique course of study. I have a clear memory of our first class, Jack talked and demonstrated the need to look behind our first impressions, to understand what is beneath. I have now carried this memory with me for 40 years (eek!). It has influence my professional and private behaviour. It is a message as fresh and perhaps even more relevant than it was on the day Jack Clancy delivered it. Vale Jack Clancy- you will live on, not only in our memories, but also in our actions.