Stanley (Stan) Edward Plummer (SPC 1943-50)

May 9, 2023

Stan, pictured in his Leaving class photograph, in 1950.

We were saddened to learn of the passing of Old Collegian Stanley (Stan) Edward Plummer (SPC 1943-50) on 27 September, 2022, aged 89 years.

Stan was born in Launceston General Hospital on 13 September 1933. When Stan turned four, he was afflicted with poliomyelitis, which left him paralysed on his right-hand side from the shoulder to his waist with no movement in his right arm. He bore this affliction for the rest of his life with his great sense of humour, grace, compassion and courtesy.

In 1943, he started life at St Patrick’s College Ballarat as a boarder in the junior grades (along with his brother Les (SPC 1944-51, PY1953)) and over his eight years at the College, he made many friends. He loved his sport and was involved in all the sporting activities at the school. He represented the school in the open high jump in 1950.

Les was also fast bowler and one of his former classmates remembers Stan “broke the cricket stump with his force and speed” and despite his poor arm “Stan never let it stand in his way”.

Stan, pictured in the premiership-winning Treacy House football team in 1947.

Stan was also part of the Treacy House football team and 1950 SPC BPS Athletic champion side, as well as the Treacy House’s Athletic champions team in his final year, where he completed his Leaving certificate.

His brother Les says Stan’s two best friends in school both became priests and Stan always joked that when the Bishop of Ballarat was throwing around the Holy water, he hit his two friends and missed him.

Stan, pictured in the 1950 winning SPC BPS Athletics team.

He left St Patrick’s College at the end of 1950 and worked in various engineering companies as a clerk before heading to London in 1959 for four years. In 1960 he went for a trip around Europe and ended up in Rome for the Olympic games. Two of his highlights were seeing Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) winning the middleweight crown and the second highlight was Perc Cerutty (the trainer of Herb Elliott who won the 1500 metres) jumping over the fence where he laid down at the side of the track with a white towel yelling out to Herb with three hundred metres to go “Go Herb go”. Two burly Italians did not appreciate Perc’s action and picking him up by both elbows, threw him back over the fence. When he finished his trip around Europe, Stan joined New Scotland yard as a clerical assistant and was known by his workmates as “Plummer of the yard”.

Stan returned to Melbourne in 1963 and decided to go to Launceston, Tasmania, where he joined Boag’s Brewery and liked the beer so much that he stayed for 35 years. He joined the tasting panel where he was able to sample all the new products and he often joked that he was paid for something he loved doing.

In 1982 he married Jan von Briba, however he was only able to enjoy 10 years with Jan before she passed away in 1992.

Like most Australians, Stan was mad about sport and was able to join the Melbourne Cricket Club in 1956 and carried his membership for 66 years.

He was a die-hard Melbourne supporter and was also a member of the Melbourne Football Club for 59 years. After the 1995 Grand Final which Carlton won, Stan was found after the match by his nephews in a Richmond Hotel leading about 40 Carlton supporters in the Carlton theme song.

For the last five years, life post-polio set in and his lung capacity was reduced to a third, so every extra day was a blessing.

On the eve of the Grand Final in 2021, Stan was featured on the front page of the Launceston Examiner newspaper with another Melbourne supporter. In the article, he stated that before he died, he wanted to see Melbourne win the flag. Fortunately for Stan, Melbourne won the flag and he knew that he could die a contented man.

Stan passed away on the feast day of St Vincent de Paul on 27 September 2022 and leaves behind two stepdaughters Andrea and Sally.

Stan was farewelled in his hometown of Launceston, in Tasmania on 30 September, 2022 and tributes from his family spoke of “a life lived with dignity and kindness”.

Stan, pictured along with his brother Les, in their junior class photograph in the 1944-45 College Annual.