John Dowling (SPC 1949-51)

October 11, 2022

John Dowling.

We extend our deepest sympathy to the family of Old Collegian John Dowling (SPC 1949-51) who sadly passed away on 6 September 22, aged 89 years, of prostrate cancer.

John is survived by Mary and children Luke, Danielle and Adrian and grandchildren Rowan and Patrick.

John Dowling, pictured in his Leaving class photograph, in 1950.

John came to SPC from De La Salle and was a boarder from Glenhuntly for two years, starting in intermediate and completing his matriculation.

His younger brother Brian (SPC 1949-53) was also a boarder at SPC.

John’s family recalled that he enjoyed his time at SPC and enjoyed playing many team sports including handball, football and rowing.

John was a member of the First XVIII Football team and was described in the 1951/52 College Annual as giving “great service in the two key back positions. A very elusive player, a grand mark and always disposes to advantage”.

John was also named as the Handball Champion, winning the Lyall Barbeta Cup and Open Champion in a competition which was fiercely contested by around 200 boys at the time.

John’s rowing memento.

He also placed well in the school’s broad jump and weight putt in the Open Championship and his family recall he even kept the pocket of his rowing blazer pocket as a lasting memento of his time and memories at St Patrick’s.

John also played in the Second XVIII in 1949 and was also an executive member of the Intermediate Literary and Debating Society, debating “The Snowy River Scheme” during the second term.

On leaving SPC, John studied civil engineering and building construction at RMIT. During this time, he was a keen squash player.

After RMIT, he joined his family’s wall/floor tiling company and alongside his father (Din Dowling), worked on many iconic Melbourne buildings in the CBD including St Patrick’s Cathedral , NGV and the Block Arcade in Collins St.

His family lovingly remember how John enjoyed his ‘man cave’ and could repair anything!

John had a memory for maths, physics and chemistry and he was an avid reader of WWII history and had an interest in car restoration /mechanics.

John Dowling, as pictured in the SPC First XVIII Football team photograph in 1951.

John Dowling, pictured in the Senior Football team in 1950.

John Dowling, pictured in the rowing’s junior crew photograph, in the 1950 College Annual.


John was honoured in his handball prowess at SPC in 1950.