John Michael McLaughlin (SPC 1957)

February 17, 2021

John McLaughlin.

We were saddened to hear of the passing of John Michael McLaughlin (SPC 1957) who passed away on November 28, 2019.

John lived in Mitcham, Melbourne with his family for many years. He was a boarder for one year only at SPC in 1957 from Box Hill. He remained close with many of his classmates and referred to his time at SPC as the “best year of his life”.

He was a regular attendee at many SPC events over the years. John was a member of the SPC athletics team and First XVIII Football team as well as the College’s St Vincent de Paul Society. As well as being a handy footballer and runner, John was always active and turned to cycling later in life.

John McLaughlin pictured in his Matriculation class photograph in 1957.

John enjoyed a long career of over 40 years with Holden – General Motors. He started as an export manager at Fishermen’s Bend in Melbourne, and was later promoted to Holden’s Fleet and Leasing Manager. His wife Trish recalled John enjoyed a lot of travel across the globe, with numerous trips to General Motors’ headquarters in Detroit, America, where he made firm, long-lasting friendships. John also travelled to the UK, Brunei, Africa and learnt the Indonesian language to assist with his regular work trips to Indonesia. John was also a gifted musician.

In his younger days, he was the drummer in his own band, but this eventually ended due to his growing work commitments. He came back to music in later life, and he was invited to play in numerous bands. John was a great lover of jazz and became a long-standing member of the well-known Blue Tones band, part of the Victorian Jazz Archives, and played at many jazz festivals in later years including Port Fairy.

John suffered an aneurysm and stroke in 2003, and after recovering, was invited back to Holden as a teacher and mentor, so much was his knowledge and skills respected in the company. John contracted multiple cancers in 2013 and underwent seven years of intensive nuclear therapy, which he largely kept to himself, through the Peter McCallum Cancer Centre and Unicorn Foundation.

Trish remembered her husband as an optimist with a sense of humour, who was determined and “always looked forward and never back”. Trish said John lived a very full and rewarding life and they enjoyed 53 years of married life together. John was also adored by his three children, Michael, Francine and Dominic, and five grandchildren, Poppy Honey, Lachlan, Patrick, Clementine and Stella. Rest in peace.

John McLaughlin was a member of SPC’s Athletic Champions team in 1957.