The Old Paradians’ senior players wore black armbands in Sunday’s VAFA Division 2 Grand Final at Coburg City Oval to honour the memory of the club’s 1958 Premiership player Jack O’Reilly, who died recently at the age of 90.
A final year student of Parade College East Melbourne in the wartime year of 1944, Jack loyally served the Considine family business Secon for many years as a document courier, and Maurie Considine was his Premiership coach in a team captained by the late Phil McLaughlin.
Secon CEO and Old Paradians’ Association committeeman Steve Nailer said Jack maintained his interest in the team, which unfortunately lost the match but earned promotion to D1 after finishing second to UHS-VU.
“Jack always enquired about how the footy club was going,” Steve said. “Jack was a beautiful man who always had time for everyone and anything . . . and he lived life to the very fullest.
“Rest in peace, Jack.”
Jack O’Reilly is survived by his wife Wilma and eight children. His funeral is to be held at St. Francis De Sales Church, 626 Pascoe Vale Road, Oak Park, on Wednesday, September 12, commencing 11.00 am.
-images courtesy Maurie Considine, Damian Hannam
The following tribute to Jack O'Reilly was paid by Kevin Rickard, AM. RFD (1953), an old teammate of Jack's and the No.1 ruckman in the Old Paradians' feted 58 Premiership outfit.
Some Thoughts From A Friend
Jack O’Reilly was a great family man.Wilma, Jack’s wife, was always uppermost in his considerations whilst at the same time he cared with deep affection for all his children. He was a fine upright brave and diligent man.It was my privilege to have had him as a longstanding friend. I am saddened by his passing.My wife, Elaine and I convey our deepest sympathies to Wilma and their children.
Jack and I had some pleasant times, playing tennis at Rosebud and fishing together on Port Phillip Bay, but none more so than when we played together in the hurly- burly of the OPAFC Premiership Year of 1958.The great Maurie Considine was coach and the legendary Phil McLaughlin, Captain. Jack was a courageous stalwart on the field, his presence, his play and demeanour gave the whole team a sense of security.For me that security was supreme, especially in the final series. Jack was the ultimate person to have at your side, to watch your back and “to protect your interests”.Jack was always one step away, making sure those interests were judiciously served.
During the crucial final weeks and during the finals, I was a medical student in residence at the Royal Women’s Hospital in Carlton.Jack ensured I was able to meet all the team’s committments at the time.In the week before the grand final he also ensured I received the correct therapy from a retired Fitzroy Football Club physio for my football injuries at the time.
I remember Jack fondly and utter some words from the De profundis for him.
“Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord and may perpetual light shine upon him.May his soul and the souls of all the Faithful departed rest in peace.”
Kevin Rickard, AM. RFD.
September 12, 2018