John Croft (SPC 1940-47, PY1949)

February 21, 2023

John Croft.

We were deeply saddened by the passing of Old Collegian John Croft (SPC 1940-47, PY1949) who passed away peacefully at home on 28 January 2023, aged 92 years.
A true gentleman with a beautiful soul, John is remembered as a person who was genuinely interested in people and loved to have a chat.

A young John, pictured in his junior class photograph in the 1940 College Annual.

His early childhood was spent growing up in the pub where his mum worked, and at the age of nine years, John was sent to St Pat’s to board for the next seven years, starting in the junior classes.

John reminisced fondly of heading to a friend’s home for a Sunday roast as well as the lifelong friendships he made during his time at SPC.

He was also very active in St Pat’s sporting programs, regularly gaining a place in the athletic sports days, making the SPC Athletic Team. John was also a member of Nunan’s football team and a member of the Galvin House Senior Hill premiership cricket program.
John was also crowned the A Grade Under 9 Stone boxing champion and completed his intermediate studies in 1947.
John had the gift of enjoying a chat and making new friends wherever he went.

In his mid-20s, John’s family recall their father gained a job on a cruise ship to South Hampton and ended up staying in the UK for quite a few months, on nothing but a few pounds, but made many new friends.

He returned to Australia and met his future wife Joan (dec) at a dance, where they went on to have four children, John, Suzanne, Robert and Jeanette, and enjoy the company of 10 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, and a wonderful life together.

In the early years, John worked three jobs at times to support his family and later, John and Joan operated a sandwich bar in St Kilda Road, Melbourne and later a reception centre together.

John enjoyed a love of gardening and family and was also involved in Freemasonry, becoming a Master.

He travelled broadly across the world throughout his life and had the ability to make friends everywhere he went.

John pictured with good SPC mate Fr Dan Arundell (SPC 1945-48).

The opportunity to chat to people, to be genuinely interested in their lives and stories and to make new friends was something John enjoyed every day of his life, with an incredibly long list of friends receiving John’s famous “Croft Chronicle” newsletter every Christmas for the last 20 years, including friends he had met back in the 1950s.

John kept his SPC College Annuals and proudly showed them to new friends with SPC connections.

John enjoyed the opportunity to attend SPC functions with his family, as well as keeping in touch with some of his classmates at Harp and Ballarat lunches.

We extend our deepest condolences to John’s family and extended family on the passing of a truly special person.



John pictured in his intermediate class photograph in the 1947 College Annual.


John pictured as a member of the SPC Boxing Champions in 1947.


John was a member of the Galvin House Senior Hill premiers side in 1947.


John was a handy sportsman and a member of the SPC Athletics Team in 1944.