The history of the Jack Smart Trophy, as told by Ross Erickson, Life Member.
1973 “F-Troop” Premiership Team. Jack Smart pictured far right.
The “Junior Vets” team was first introduced by the Club in 2003 to provide a bridge for those players too young to play Veterans, but still with a desire to continue playing hockey at a suitable level. In 2010 the Club instituted a trophy for the player voted Best and Fairest in the “Junior Vets” team, named after one of the Club’s most eminent former members; Professor J.J.C. (Jack) Smart.
Professor Jack Smart played hockey for La Trobe University during his tenure as Reader of Philosophy between 1972 and 1976. Jack already had a distinguished career in both hockey and cricket before he arrived at La Trobe, having played first class hockey and cricket at the University of Adelaide, where he was awarded University Colours in both sports. Jack had also served as President of the South Australian Hockey Association in 1960-61.
John Jamieson Carswell (Jack) Smart was born in Cambridge, England on 16th September 1920. Jack had strong academic genes with his father being a Professor of Astronomy at Cambridge and both brothers also becoming Professors in diverse disciplines. Jack was educated at The Leys School (Cambridge), Glasgow University and the University of Oxford. He served in the British Army (Lieutenant in the Royal Signals Corps), mainly in India and Burma, during World War II.
Jack was a Fellow at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, before being appointed Hughes Professor of Philosophy at the University of Adelaide in 1950. He held this position until 1972, when he moved to La Trobe University as a Reader in Philosophy. In 1976 he was appointed Professor of Philosophy at the Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University. He retired in 1986, but continued to work at the ANU until 1999. ANU commemorates the connection with Jack with the “Jack Smart Lecture” being presented annually. During his career he held visiting professorships at several universities including Princeton, Harvard, Yale and Stanford. Jack, although formally retired, continued his academic life as an Honorary Research Fellow at Monash University until his death on the 6th 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 he 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 an inspiration.
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.
Jack passed on the 6th of October 2012, but will always be remembered through the Jack Smart Trophy and its recipients. The award is given each year to a player who, by their performance or administrative efforts, have inspired members to continue playing in the Masters competition at the Club.
2022 – Louise Elliot
2021 – Tim Lonergan
2019 – Jodi & Robert James
2018 – David Usher & Joan Mastrogiannis
2017 – Stephen Davies
2016 – Greg Van Meeuwen
2015 – Craig Cameron & Joan Mastrogiannis
2014 – Adele Taylor
2013 – Felicity Kingsford
2012 – Sarah Dowling
2011 – Jason Dowling
2010 – Travis Dowling
View more of the La Trobe University Hockey Club’s History.