John (Jack) Elliott (SPC 1947-51)

March 25, 2024


Jack Elliott.

John (Jack) Elliott (SPC 1947-51) sadly passed away on 14 March 2024, aged 90 years. Jack was still running until not long before his passing, when his heart finally gave up. Jack was accomplished in all that he did at SPC.

Jack was a boarder from Derrinallum and attended SPC through to matriculation, which he completed twice.

He was a Head Prefect in his final year in 1951 and played in the First XVIII Football team across three seasons under the coaching guidance of Br Bill O’Malley, winning the Football “Next Best” trophy in 1950, followed up by the “Most Versatile Player” trophy the following year, in his final year.

Jack’s sporting prowess.

An impressive cricketer, Jack was Vice-Captain of the First XI for two years and scored the top batting average in 1950 and 1951, scoring two centuries (and two bats). He top scored with 165 runs (not out) during the 1951 season, making 418 runs off an average of 209.
A cricket report recorded in the 1951 College Annual reads as follows – “Ballarat College offered more resistance in their return match …. we were able to register another innings’ win thanks to a solid opening partnership of 84 by Leon Heath and John Elliott, which incidentally was the highest SPC opening partnership for the past decade, and a masterly, unconquered 165 (inc 12 4’s) by John Elliott. In many respects, John’s innings was remarkable. It was his second century for the season, his third century in BPS cricket, the second highest score by an SPC batsman and the third highest individual score in the history of BPS cricket”.
In bowling circles, Jack clocked up an average of 8.8 and received SPC’s Cricket’s Khyat Cup for best batsman in 1950.

During his time at SPC, he was also a Councillor of Our Lady’s Sodality and a Prefect of the Holy Name Society. He was vice-president of the College Conference of the St Vincent’s de Paul Society and a diligent member of our Altar Society.

Jack was a member of the First XVIII Football team for three seasons.

Jack won a Commonwealth Scholarship and a Secondary Studentship and still had a memento at the time of his passing from his time at SPC, of his Head Prefect suit jacket pocket.

His family remember Jack loved attending SPC reunions and he created many lifelong friendships from his time here.

He attended Melbourne University between 1952-54 and graduated to be a primary school teacher. He was a natural teacher and educator and this is carried throughout his life as father, teacher, coach and friend.

His family say “he could always see different perspectives and was a great communicator with people”.

Jack was a prefect in his matric year.

While in Melbourne, he was approached by Richmond FC and Melbourne FC to play with with them, eventually playing with Melbourne under Norm Smith where he played Under 19s and seconds and in the Under 19 Grand Final for Melbourne in 1952.

He began teaching in the Ballarat area as part of his uni course, and was approached to play with Ballarat Football Club. He played in two premierships 1953 and 1954, while he was teaching at his first school at Mt Blowhard State School.

In 1956, Jack returned home to play footy for Derrinallum, where he began teaching and met his wife-to-be, Alison (Skene).

The couple purchased the closed-down Derrinallum Butter Factory and brought up their five children – Wayne, Deb, Tim, Lisa and Amanda – while Jack continued to play football and was appointed playing coach of Derrinallum in 1960, winning that season’s premiership.

He went on to win a record three league best and fairest awards, namely the Bruhn trophy as well as four club best and fairest as well as non-playing premiership coach in 1981.

In his eulogy at Jack’s funeral last Friday (22 March 2024), son Wayne told the crowd “John Northey told me about the “super juice” his father Trevor used to make at three-quarter time to get the players going, it consisted of half a bottle of whisky, half a bottle of brandy, a big swig of stone green ginger wine, orange juice and lemonade. The only problem being Dad had trouble getting them away from Trevor who continued to supply the players until it ran out”.

Wayne played with his dad in his final football game in 1975, a reserves grand final, which they won, and his dad was best on ground, he was 42 years old.

Jack Elliott, pictured with his son Wayne (SPC 1973-75) in front of Wayne’s art work entered in the SPC Flanagan Art Prize.

Continuing from his SPC days, Jack kept playing cricket and played in a number of premierships with Derrinallum, as a batsman and wicketkeeper.

Jack became principal at Derrinallum and coached the school sporting teams. He also spent time as principal at Darlington state school. They moved to “Boonderoo”, a property just out of Derrinallum, where they created a large garden and raised money for charity with their garden parties.

In 1982, the couple took over the Inverleigh Hotel and both must have developed a taste for pub life moving to the Gold Diggers Arms Hotel in Newtown in 1985, and then the Drysdale newsagency and general store until their retirement.

They enjoyed travelling until Alison passed away in 2004 and Jack immensed himself in his family and keeping fit and healthy.

He completed half marathons, fun runs, triathlons, Around the Bay bike ride and the Great Victorian Bike ride seven times and was the oldest rider in his latter years.

Jack never lost his zest for life continued to be fit and on the move until his passing.

Jack, pictured in his matriculation class photograph, as published in the 1951 College Annual.

Jack was also a talented member of the First XI Cricket team.

Jack showed interest in sport from an early age, and was a member of the SPC Athletics team.