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John Dalton (Jack) Clancy

Funeral Details

Thursday 3rd April 2014 at The Boulevard Restaurant, 121 Studley Park Rd, Kew, VIC

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.


Marianne Sison

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.

Ray Wilson

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.

Kane Bowden

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

Frank Dunin

April 3rd, 2014 at 10:45 am (edited)

Jack, we have described you as an esteemed classmate, teammate and mentor. This tribute aims to elaborate on each of these aspects of our association. In 1949 I joined you at CBC St Kilda but our academic streams kept us apart for much of our four years stint at the school. It was Bob Maguire who brought us together in the College debating side. You had joined Bob in railing against preoccupation with science to the detriment of the humanities with the call cry of "Scientific progress without communication will stall". You admitted me to scholarly pursuits in communication through admission to the debating society. We had been teammates on the field only once and that was in 1948 in an intra-school game when were vying for school representation at the U/15 level, Alas, you were overlooked for school representation but that oversight only built character that ultimately brought you to fulfill an ambition of VFL status with Fitzroy. Both of us had similar but separate paths of University Blacks to VFL before being reunited off the field in 1961 to direct the Blacks fortunes over seven football seasons. Our shared lament of premature retirement from senior football through knee injury was compensated for with memorable victories during our period of guidance in the VAFA. As Chairman of Selectors you became my mentor through my seven year tenure as Coach of University Blacks. I need to record one tactic that was used in that wonderful year of 1965 with an emphatic victory in the Grand Final. Early season you had been impressed by talent across our half forward line. It seemed a pity to you that such talent should languish on a half forward flank throughout a game and so we would embark on a policy of rotation through the mid-field. Periodically, Reynolds would be shunted to a flank to be replaced by Porter or Sinclair allowing Lee to move across to centre half forward. Such manoevres are commonplace in AFL circles today but were unheard of in 1965 when the only rotations were for rucks and rover with the pockets, back and forward. In recent times you would welcome me back from interstate as we followed the fortunes of the Blacks through their progression back to A Grade. Your passing has left a hole in the ranks of resolute support aspiring to an A Grade Flag. Perhaps success this coming season will be achieved in your honour. Frank Dunin

David Dunstan

April 3rd, 2014 at 9:40 am

I am sorry to hear of Jack Clancy’s passing. I knew him mainly through RMIT where I was a sometime tutor and student and I had a number of friends on the staff who knew him much better than I did. I first came into contact with Jack in 1978, when I was a part-time tutor, teaching Australian History to engineers and he was head of department. I think Judy Smart might have wangled me the job. Tertiary institutions were probably kinder to junior and contract staff in those days than they are now but the department ran out of money and we were told we could not be paid for the last weeks of teaching, student consultation or marking. As head of department Jack had to cope with the situation. The threatened great tutor’s revolt did not eventuate but I do remember a staff meeting convened by Jack where he offered himself up as scapegoat to be savaged by young enrages of the likes the late Chris McGuffie and myself. He held no grudges over this. Later Paula Dunstan and I got to know Jack better, mainly through the agency of Judy Smart and her Karl Marx birthday parties held in the depth of winter each year. Jack enjoyed a glass of red and sang the Red Flag and Jerusalem with gusto and was always interesting to talk to. Diffident and shy in many public situations, including lecturing as I later discovered, he opened up in more intimate settings. He seemed to be not entirely at ease with his large frame but he loved sport, its physicality and the company of literary blokes of the same democratic affection. I was not a member of the circle that drank at Stewart’s but I do remember the friendly Sunday cricket matches he and I put together between the Royal Park Reds and the Parkville People’s Eleven in the 1980s. They were fun. Keeping certain civilised studies of society and literature alive in a university setting have proven harder in our lifetimes. I again came into contact with Jack when I did the Editing and Publishing course with the late John Curtain in the early 90s at the behest of the Museum of Victoria. Jack had some supervisory and a slight teaching role in the program. It was an important program, important for the publishing industry and for the people who did it, many of whom used it and the things it taught well. It is still going. I suspect that had Jack been a different type of person, with different values a number of programs, like cinema studies and editing and publishing, might have had a more difficult life than they did, or none at all. As an academic administrator he was far removed from the hard-edged, jumped up members of the banana professoriat we see around us. His knowledge and love of Schubert is well known and commented on in these pages (if they are ever printed). One of his retirement projects, as he told me, was to listen to all the Schubert lieder. On the basis of one a day he could do it in two years, he said. A worthy project. I think that I would like to talk to Jack about that on some imagined boundary, watching a game. My sympathies go to Patsy and the family and all.

Paul Michell

April 3rd, 2014 at 8:39 am

Reminiscenses of Media Studies at RMIT – Paul Michell Towards the end of 1975 I entered with trepidation Storey Hall at RMIT. Well over one hundred budding entrants were there as well. The room darkened and ‘Night Mail’ (1936) a short black and white British film produced by John Grierson and the GPO was shown. After the screening we had to scribble some notes (in my very bad handwriting) discussing the film. For the chosen there was a second test – personal interview by Jack and his staff. They had to be convinced also. This was how selection was made for the Diploma of Arts (Media Studies) at RMIT established by Jack Clancy. I must have done something right as I was selected for the 1976 intake. This was only the third year of the Media Studies course having begun in 1974. The first graduate being Irene Elizabeth Olejik in 1977. Already by 1975 this Diploma course had been established as the premier cinema course in Melbourne. At that time if you wanted to make films then the Swinburne course was the one. For those of us interested in the analysis of cinema however, it could only the RMIT course. This shows the esteem which Media Studies at RMIT was held. For my first couple of years films were shown on the tiny screen at Radio Theatre in Building 9 at around 9:30am. Then tutes in the afternoon. Naturally Jack Clancy and the Western were inseparable. The list of tutors was outstanding – Ken Mogg (Hitchcock), Doug Ling, later John Flaus, John O’Hara and many more. Jack had the knack of getting the best people to contribute to the course. It was three years of immersion in media. Cinema, Communications and Semiotics. Students had to complete a stint in Journalism too apart from other Humanities subjects. This was old school – latecomers were locked out of lectures! Coming from Jacks’ Building 6 hothouse, Journalism was ill prepared for us! Media students queried and questioned long cherished journalist beliefs. The beehive of Media Studies was located in Building 6 with the cafeteria on the ground floor – Level D was Media Studies home. Jack’s office and main lecture room as was Department secretary Helena were located here. Between lectures, tutes and films students chattered over their coffees downstairs in the caf about the latest Werner Herzog film or what they’d seen on the weekend or in class. This was one of the course’s greatest achievements inspiring the enthusiasm for cinema in us for which Jack felt so passionate about. Over the years Jack achieved increased funding to bring technology into the course. A U-Matic machine allowed videos to be shown on a TV. Though one hour playing time was the limit! This was the days before home video players. By 1978 a large video projector allowed films to be shown in Building 6. A sophisticated audio studio was established as well as having portable video cameras as well as 16mm film and editing equipment. A few years after I graduated the Media Studies course was upgraded to Bachelor of Arts. A further major had to be done. Many of us Diploma students thus have triple majors. Many of Clancy’s alumni went into the business of media - film making, television, radio, journalism, writers. It is their successes both within the industry and elsewhere that is the legacy of what Jack was trying to achieve. Vale Jack Clancy. Paul Michell Diploma of Arts (Media Studies) RMIT 1979 Bachelor of Arts (Media Studies) RMIT 1984

Julie Ruth (ex-Schwarz)

April 3rd, 2014 at 1:16 am

How lucky I was, aged just 18, to be interviewed by Jack Clancy & accepted into Australia's first Media Studies course in 1974. How the 40 years melt away as I recall... I so enjoyed Media Studies - especially the Communications major with Jack - that I gave up the place I had deferred at Melb Uni Arts & decided to become a pioneer in this new & rather radical emerging field. The combination of analytical/academic & the practical was wonderfully exciting, challenging, stimulating & enjoyable. Our inaugural class-group of 15 f/t & 15 p/t pioneering students of all ages & backgrounds made for a fascinating mix of characters! As did our even more eclectic mix of lecturers led by Jack! Jack was highly intelligent, erudite, funny, witty, endlessly generous & kind. So I completed the very first course (1974-76), the Media Thesis/Project in 1979 to complete the Diploma; and then like so many, came back in 1981 to upgrade to the BA with a 3rd major. Jack & I always kept in touch, shared many enjoyable meals together, always with red wine, & he always seemed interested to follow my progress & adventures. He became my referee & I was so thrilled & touched when he wrote in a handwritten reference that I was "a person who made things happen!" Decades later (1989/91) he supported my 2 short forays into lecturing in RMIT Context Curriculum. I was so very grateful. I recall my attempts to organise our reunions & the several very pleasant afternoons we spent around his pool in Acheron Ave catching up the years! I was surprised to bump into Jack & Patsy about 3 years ago at Abbotsford Convent & very sad to observe & realise his illness & his vagueness although he still (I believe) knew me & hugged me. Jack was my great teacher, mentor, guide, referee, adviser & good friend. When I was aged 18-23, he was also my great role-model & inspiration. I think I took many of his values into my own & he helped to shape me into the person I am today. A man of great integrity,wit, wisdom, warmth & generosity. I shall never forget my dear Jack Clancy. My deepest sympathy to Patsy, David, Rob & families. May our memory of Jack be a blessing for all of us & remain in all we do & in our hearts forever.

Alan Walker

April 2nd, 2014 at 10:02 pm

I have very fond memories of playing football with Jack, first with the University Reds, and then the Blacks Reserves. The highlight of my rather mediocre football career and as a member of the Chemistry School who infiltrated the MUFC in the late sixties was winning the A reserves Grand Final at the Junction Oval when Jack was Captain Coach. We were last on the ladder for much of the season, barely got into the four, and beat Old Collegians in the Grand Final. The next year we were on top of the ladder for most of the year, played in the Grand Final and lost. I remember many enjoyable if rather alcoholic nights spent at Camberwell with Clance and other members of the Reds listening to music and talking about the problems of the world. The MUFC in those days had a great collection of characters – Mark Marsden, Munners, Croppo and many others who formed a great social club who kept up with each other over the years. In the later years together with BG Lay and others who happened to be in Melbourne when I was passing through, we used to make a point of meeting and having lunch with Clance at JWs. At the end It was very sad to see his illness slowly take away a very fertile and broad ranging mind. I like many others will sorely miss his company. My very great sympathy to Patsy and the family.

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.

Mick Sage

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.

Agnes Cusack

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.

Jenny Sinclair

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.

Andrea Cooper

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.

John Clanchy

April 1st, 2014 at 8:01 pm

A Fond Memory of J. Clancy from J. Clanchy As a lanky, shy, stripling teenager entering Melbourne Uni in the early sixties, I was keen to make new friends by joining the MU Football Club. I set out for the ‘Pavvy’ one March evening with a pair of boots, shorts and a school footy jumper and was welcomed into the warm and lively company of the under-age first year players (the ‘Juniors’). No coach had been appointed for the Juniors at that stage of the year, but a friendly giant had volunteered to coach and look after us in the meantime – a typical gesture of generosity which marked all my interactions with Jack in the ten years which followed. After our first training session, this gentle-tough giant handed out application forms for joining the Victorian Amateurs Football Association. ‘Fill them in now,’ he told us. ‘We want to make sure you’re signed up and eligible for the first game of the season.’ I didn’t know that Jack was still playing competitive footy himself (captaining the Uni Reds ‘mixed-age’ team). So I was surprised when he took a form himself and standing bent over the table next to me began to fill it out. I was even more surprised when out of the corner of my eye I saw he’d filled in the first line (Name) and had written J. Clancy. I was in a terrible dilemma. Did a long drink of a pimply adolescent tell this gentle giant that he’d got my name wrong – that he couldn’t spell – in the face of the astonishing fact that he was so careful of his new charges that he was filling in my form for me, and the even more astonishing fact that, among us all newbies whom he’d just met, that he’d remembered my name? Or did I just stay mum and accept the fact that I’d be registered under the wrong name and would have to live with it for as long as I played footy? I said: ‘Sorry, sir. That’s not how you spell it.’ Jack looked up, laughed, and said, ‘Maybe but that’s how we’ve spelt it for a couple of hundred years.’ ‘Perhaps, but it’s not right,’ I said. ‘Don’t be nervous, son,’ he said. ‘You know how to fill in a form?’ ‘Yessir.’ I saw in his eyes he was thinking, How did this idiot ever get into University? But also saw that it was immediately blocked out by a second thought: This kid’s so stupid, it’s possible he could actually play football. ‘Okay, son,’ he said, ‘just relax, and do exactly as I do.’ He went back to filling in the rest of his form, and I started on mine. Moments later I saw him look across and check on my progress and note that I’d filled in the first line (Name): J. Clanchy. Our eyes met – and I read in his a sudden terrible concern. ‘I didn’t mean it literally, son,’ he said, one hand on my shoulder, the other already reaching for a fresh form. Vale Jack Clancy. A gentle giant, if ever there was one.

Neil Watson

April 1st, 2014 at 6:05 pm

Jack and I bonded in 1965 when we kind of co-coached the inaugural season of the Reserves; he did match days and I did training nights. We liked to think that it was the foundation that we built that led to the two's (also known from time to time as the All-stars) becoming the most successful team in the MUFC's proud history with something like 17 or 18 flags in the past 40 years. Later Jack and I, having helped to persuade him to become Coach, became The Silver Fox's private support team lunching weekly at a little Greek restaurant in Collins Street. One can't think of Jack and the MUFC without also mentioning the bawdy, beery Hookers nights at the pavi. One now cringes at the thought of how he got home to Camberwell. On one famous occasion he didn't. Having found himself in the Carlton/Exhibition Gardens at the end of Drummond St he decided to 'rest' until dawn so he could work out how to get out. It's not hard to see why he was so attached to the Blacks as these are but a jot of the memories he had of his footy days and that we have of him. You were a great comrade Jack and you will be sorely missed. Warm greetings and condolences to Patsy, Robbie and David.

Huan Walker

April 1st, 2014 at 10:12 am (edited)

My thoughts and sympathy to the caring Clancy family. Jack was an inspiration to me from the beginning of my university football in 1956 and will have my lasting and greatest admiration for his continuing attendance to support the Blacks these last seasons.

John Hinchcliff

April 1st, 2014 at 9:32 am (edited)

I was a colleague with Jack at RMIT for four years between 1980 and 1983. He graciously welcomed me to the Humanities Department even though he should have occupied the role of Department Head to which I was appointed. It was always a pleasure to be with Jack. His avuncular and affirming manner, his enthusiasm for life, his wide range of interests, his tolerance of my commitment to rugby - the real brand of football, his friendship with so many and his wonderful Melbourne Cup parties with Patsy will always remain in my memory. Our Maori people would say: "a mighty Totara the has fallen in the forest." It is very sad to say farewell to Jack. He lived a good life.

Jan Quarles

April 1st, 2014 at 12:29 am

Jack Clancy was my colleague, my boss and my friend during the almost six fortunate years I spent in Australia. More than that, he was a revelation to this Southern woman. Jack could quote Shakespeare, philosophers or film directors in the same breath and then go on to music, sport and wine. Ah, so that's what a true scholar is, I thought, and to this day he represents what the academy SHOULD be. He was so very, very kind to me as he and others guided me into Australian culture and included me in a circle of colleagues and friends. He helped me see a broader and richer world in many ways, and he taught me never ever to read bush poems in a southern accent.

Patrick & Maria Kempton

March 31st, 2014 at 10:06 pm (edited)

Jack Clancy was known to us as a loyal and passionate supporter of University Blacks football team. For many years we traveled to Melbourne to watch the games. Jack was nearly always there and with joy would comment on the progress of the team. Early on we had no idea of the academic stature of the man. He was Jack Clancy, Uni Blacks supporter, treating everyone the same, always with a smile and friendly greeting.

John McLaen

March 31st, 2014 at 5:05 pm

Jack Clancy was one of those friends I had known so long I cannot remember where we first met. Probably at a Meanjin-Overland cricket match. I came to know him better when Laurie joined the Australian Book Review, and I used to see Jack with Laurie, at Laurie’s home or in various pubs. But I came to know him most closely when we started having regular lunches to talk about the mutual problems we had as heads of Humanities Departments, at RMIT and FIT respectively. Different as our institutions were, they shared similar histories and we shared the same difficulties with staff, budgets, managers. We never solved these problems, but it was good to share them. Jack understood Footscray, because, like most of the teachers in the old Tech Ed, he had done time there. We usually went on to wider questions of literature, Australia, the world—we had more success with these than we did with our Departments. These lunches formed the core for the Friday lunches that began in Carlton and, under the influence of John Timlin, grew into an institution that shaped the rhythm of our weeks. With new members, 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. Jack would always help the conversation along with the appropriate anecdote or mot juste, or a timely example from his encyclopaedic knowledge. These would both enlighten the matter under discussion and dramatise the actors. Jack was a man whose largeness of stature matched his largeness of spirit. At any meeting, formal or informal, he gave of himself. But this generosity was matched by an astuteness of judgement that served him well when he became head of Humanities at RMIT, later RMIT University. The mixture of the courses he offered in journalism, media studies, literature, history and cinema studies was unequalled in its quality and its combination of professional and liberal education. He had however the difficult task of establishing a place for the humanities in an institution where they formed a small proportion of all the courses, and which had until then been mainly concerned with teaching business and the technologies for a practical world. Within his department and industry, he had to contend with some who insisted that journalism was a skilled craft, not a learned profession. He had also to nurture the development of his staff from a simple orientation to teaching to an emphasis on research-based teaching. This involved both the encouragement of established staff to develop new strengths, and recruiting new staff with sound research backgrounds and skills that they were prepared to apply to practical demands. He was largely successful in both tasks, and when he retired the Humanities Department at RMIT was generally recognised as one of the ornaments of the university.

Graeme Johnson

March 31st, 2014 at 1:49 pm

Patsy, I will be unable to join you on Thursday as I will be interstate.I remember fondly the annual vote counts at Acheron Avenue,an unforgettable feature of the blacks' calendar.I also remember your tuoring me in French 1 and being horrified to discover later that I was a Black and had not told you.I explained that my schoolboy French did not stretch that far. Much has rightly been spoken about jack's enormous contribution to the Blacks.One fond memory I have is at quarter time in a game at Royal Park he told me it was the worst quarter of football he had seen me play and said"Take this".He handed me a hip flask of quite a decent sherry.I had a couple of swigs and played a great 2nd quarter.At half time I asked if he had any more and he told me I had had more than enough. My thoughts are with you and the boys

Nick Heath

March 31st, 2014 at 1:32 pm (edited)

David Parkin is a powerful, intelligent and compelling achiever in both Academic and Sporting fields. David's accomplishments as a football player and coach are outstanding. As a player, he played 212 Senior Games for Hawthorn from 1961 to 1974 and was captain for 6 years of Hawthorn Football Club from 1968 to 1973 where he Captained them to their second premiership in 1971, and then coached them to a flag in 1978. He was also State Representative in 1965 and 1968. He later coached Carlton Football Club to successive Premierships in 1981 - 82, and is regarded as one of the all time super-coaches being one of only 6 coaches to have coached 500 AFL/VFL games. David Parkin's academic achievements are also numerous and as a genuine student of the game he has been a prolific respected writer. So when David writes an article saying the Blacks footy club culture is the best he's ever experienced the whole football world takes notice. 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." Seems like he knew Jack pretty well.

Bob Sedman

March 31st, 2014 at 12:50 pm

It was an honour to have known Jack and to have played football with him in the Blacks Reserves. He was a tower of strength on and of the football field, a gentleman and a great bloke.


March 31st, 2014 at 11:10 am

Like many many students at MU, I met Jack in the 1960's through Uni Blacks Football. And thereafter I bumped into him every time I watched a Blacks match. He was first a dedicated player and then one of the more regular and loyal supporters, and it won't be the same without him. Thanks for the memories Jack.

Terry Laidler

March 31st, 2014 at 8:43 am

So sad to hear of Jack's death, Rob and all the family. He was a truly great bloke, whose sage advice I took and valued on more than one occasion. Hope you're all managing OK.

Elaine Race

March 30th, 2014 at 12:17 pm

Effortless courtesy - a quality of Jack's I first experienced over forty years ago, when I was finding my hesitant way into the RMIT staff room. He immediately presented me with the keys of the kingdom: cupboards, drawers, jars, utensils, coffee, biscuits: all were mine. I belonged. The quality of his courtesy is what I emphasise, then and in the years since.

Helen marshall

March 30th, 2014 at 12:46 am

My first impression of Jack Clancy was that he was a very large man. In 1978 I was one of the newest and shortest members of staff in the RMIT Faculty of Humanities and Social Science and the staff room in 6D4 seemed to be crowded with gigantic men, most of them bearded and bespectacled. Jack was the big bearded bespectacled one with kind eyes. As I gradually became part of the faculty I learned that Jack’s physical size was matched by his breadth of knowledge, by his many passionate enthusiasms- for politics, sport , music, literature, film, his garden, his family – and by his readiness to discuss any them at any time with wit. It was probably he who decided that the trip to Dublin for a conference made by the Faculty’s three short women (Helen Molnar, Judy Smart and me) was the munchkin tour. He was certainly the one who christened my notably merry babbling baby the happiness kid, and who introduced himself sometimes as Clancy of the Overdraft. I remember him grumbling about misuse of nouns as verbs and making scathing denunciations of injustice and meanness, but I don’t remember him ever using his wit unkindly. His appetite for prolonged celebration was large. Friday drinks in the grotty RMIT staff club often segued into drinks at Stewarts and a meal somewhere. The Faculty’s end of the academic year party would begin in 6D4 at lunch time and end up goodness where very much later. I think Jack kept a mental football record or Wisden of the end of year bashes, because I recall him counting empty bottles and announcing proudly that we had beaten last year’s record. If any of the bottles had held a decent red, it was probably Jack’s generous contribution to the occasion. Jack was one of the stayers who could be found at 4 a.m. at Judy Smart’s annual Karl Marx birthday party, and the Clancy Melbourne Cup barbeque was always a wonderful event, whatever the weather. The last conversation I had with him and Patsy revolved around one his passions- Wagner. They enthusiastically endorsed my plans to see the 2013 Melbourne ring cycle assuring me I’d love it. You were right Jack. I don’t know if Irish heroes get into Valhalla, but if they do you ought to be inducted with an augmented orchestra and chorus, and all those Wagnerian horns blowing.

Helen Molnar

March 28th, 2014 at 7:38 pm

Jack Clancy was a rare academic who he will always be remembered with great fondness by those of us who were fortunate to be accepted into the first year of the new Media Studies Diploma he pioneered, soon to be a degree. Rare because he was extraordinarily erudite, funny,generous and humble. He opened doors for many of us. First for me it was Media Studies, and then when I was working at 3RRR, an offer to teach Radio Production at RMIT. He then encouraged me to do my Masters and I went on to a 16-year academic career. Those early years in the Diploma were full of great times: all the students would go to dinner with Jack and the Journalism lecturers, and Jack and Patsy invited us to some very enjoyable afternoons at their home too. They were, and remain, very special times. Wherever you are now Jack, I hope that there will be wonderful rose gardens for you to tend.

frank perri

March 28th, 2014 at 7:28 pm

Jack clancy as i will remember him : gentle, warm, intelligent, : he and pat raised 2 great men. His work and contributioms to australian cinema and academics is one legacy, but his sons and grandchildren are a testament to a great man and he lives on in each of them.

Judith Smart

March 28th, 2014 at 6:04 pm

Jack was a much-valued friend and colleague at RMIT for nearly a quarter of a century; even after he retired, we continued to do some teaching together. He was a gifted communicator, having the enviable ability to speak without notes, to digress without losing his train of thought, and to involve students and/or the members of his audience in a dialogue based on respect. I learned a great deal about curriculum design from teaching with him but also about the importance of flexibility. As head of Communication Studies and foundation professor, he made the school one of the most academically and financially successful in the university. He pioneered the Media Studies and Public Relations courses and oversaw the creation of degree programs in both, as well as in Journalism, and he also facilitated a general communications degree for international students. He was a humane and far-sighted administrator; the big picture and the wellbeing of staff and students were always more important to him than the day-to-day detail of the job. Jack’s scholarly output—mostly in film criticism and analysis—displayed broad intellectual and cultural interests and he prided himself on the rigorous logic of his argument. He was always ready to provide a critical reading of my own work and, though history was not his disciplinary area, I particularly valued his observations and suggestions about writing style and coherence of argument. It seems terribly cruel that it was his great communication and language skills that failed him so badly in his last months. His passions were many and I shared in his enjoyment and benefited from his knowledge of some. We had many conversations and sometimes heated arguments about history, feminism and the problems of liberalism vis a vis socialism. We shared an interest in wine too, and, in addition to the Friday evening gatherings in his office, there were occasional forays by a select few to wine shows where we compared notes on different grapes and regions—usually tackling the task logically by confining ourselves to shiraz or cabernet or Riesling or pinot, before Jack would say ‘To hell with it’ and insist on finishing with a favourite sparkling red or a muscat. His Cup Day parties were legendary, and Karl Marx parties at my place were a regular event on Jack’s social calendar too—his presence was essential to the success of both, though his musical sensibilities were usually offended by our renditions of traditional revolutionary anthems at the latter. I will miss him a great deal—for his warmth, his humour and wit (even the terrible puns), his stimulating conversation, his hatred of religion, the strength of his commitment to humane values and humanist principles, and his loyalty to and love of family and close friends.

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