Emeritus Professor J.J.C. (Jack) Smart

The La Trobe University Hockey Club was saddened to learn of the passing of J.J.C. (Jack) Smart on the 6th of October 2012.

Professor Jack Smart played hockey for La Trobe during his tenure between 1972 and 1976. Born in Cambridge, England, on the 16th of September 1920 with strong academic genes, John Jamieson Carswell (Jack) was educated at The Leys School (Cambridge), Glasgow University and the University of Oxford before serving in the British Army during World War II.

Following an appointment at Corpus Christi College (Oxford), Jack was appointed Hughes Professor of Philosophy at the University of Adelaide in 1950. He held this position until 1972, and during his time at the University of Adelaide Jack had a distinguished career in both hockey and cricket where he was awarded University Colours in both sports. He also served as President of the South Australian Hockey Association in 1960-61.

In 1972 he moved to La Trobe University where he served four years as Reader in Philosophy before moving across to Australian National University. After his retirement in 1986, he continued to work at ANU and then later as an Honorary Research Fellow at Monash University until is death on the 6th of October 2012.

Jack Smart was a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, made a Companion of the Order of Australia in 1990 and in 2001 was awarded a Centennial Medal as an eminent Australian.

Notwithstanding his academic status, Jack is more fondly remembered by our Club as an accomplished and mature hockey player.  Jack’s skill as a centre half and full back, and his strength as a team player and gentleman, will always be remembered by those who knew and played with him.  Although the oldest team member by far, his ability to break up opposition attacks and to reinvigorate our attacks were instrumental in many wins, not the least of which saw our 4s (known as the “F-Troop”) win our only Premiership of 1973.  Jack’s contribution was recognised with him sharing the Best and Fairest Award for that year.

In a period when there was no Veterans competition, Jack demonstrated that it was possible for a player in his 50’s to continue to play and enjoy hockey. Jack was our first “junior vet” and was later inspire the Club to establish a “Junior Vets” F-Troop team to be introduced as a bridge for players too young to play in Veterans but with a desire to continue playing.

In 2012, the Club established a trophy for the player voted Best and Fairest in the F-Troop team, to be known as the Jack Smart Trophy. Read more about the Jack Smart Trophy.

Jack’s impact on world philosophy has been profound.  But littered through his writings and lectures you will find constant references to the games of hockey and cricket as illustrations of the philosophical points he was making.  As a consequence, philosophers that otherwise don’t have a clue about our sport, quote him and reflect his love of hockey.

He will be sorely missed as one of the Club’s most eminent former players.

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