John Adrian 'Jack'  Caine's Memorial

John Adrian 'Jack' Caine
(1939 - 2009)


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General Details

Name: Mr John Adrian 'Jack' Caine
Nick Name: Jack
Gender: Male
Age: 70 years old
Lived: Thursday, 11 May 1939 - Friday, 12 June 2009

My Story

Jack.  What a wonderful man, truly one in a million who most certainly lived life to the full. What a blessing it has been to have had him in our lives.  He was a man who never gave up. He taught us how to be courageous, how to accept people as they are, and how to follow our dreams.  He’s never had a negative word to say about anyone and has touched the lives of so many and changed each of us for the better.  He saw the world through the rosiest of glasses and gladly opened his heart and home to everyone.  He lived by the philosophy that you should try to do as much as you can for as many people as possible and hope like mad that there are others out there that are thinking the same way you do.   

Dad, first and foremost was a farmer. He really enjoyed his days spent on the family property - Swanwater, near Saint Arnaud. It was there he learnt the joys and hardships of life on the land. He was the youngest of Mick and Maud Caine’s 6 children.  So together with brother Gerald, and sisters Margaret, Patricia, Ursula and Angela he helped with the general running of the farm. He often told us about the difficulties he endured lugging heavy wheat bags around the place but if you asked the rest of his family, as the youngest, he never really had to do that much.  His very early education came from his sisters who would relay what they’d learnt that day to Jack as a means to pass the time. As a result of this tuition Jack started school well ahead of his peers and things seemed to remain that way for his entire schooling life.

There were times in his primary years that he was the only boy at the school so he was entered into every age group available on sports days.  Being the very talented athlete he was however he still managed to achieve many victories.  He went on to board at Saint Patrick’s College here in Ballarat completing his matriculation at the age of 16. While at St Pats he represented the College in the 1st XVIII Football Team, he captained the College Athletics Team and was a well respected Prefect. He also performed in a number of musical productions and achieved some notoriety at the local dances. He loved to play tennis was a fit and ambitious young man.  

He returned to work on the farm for a short while after finishing school.  It was then that he courted and eventually married Anne in 1964 before heading first to Ballarat to Teacher’s College, then to Melbourne to study Phys Ed. He worked part time at Caulfield Swimming Pool in Carnegie before becoming a Physical Education Advisor for the Maryborough inspectorate. They lived in Moonee Ponds, and then moved to Maryborough before finally making their way to Ballarat North via Wendouree to set about raising all of us.

As you all well know he loved sports in all their forms but his passion was for swimming. It is amazing that he taught so many people to swim, yet Jacko could barely swim to save himself.  There will be people here today from Jack’s days at Teacher’s College that could attest to the effort and determination that he applied to achieve his Bronze Medallion. He was more adept at walking through water than swimming through it - like another famous JC. He ran the Learn to Swim program at the Ballarat YMCA, in Field St, for many years. He became coach of the YMCA Swimming Club and even put in time as its president. 
There were many freezing Ballarat mornings that Dad had us up so early, fuelling us with hot mugs of Milo while he chipped the ice off the car windscreen in order to get us all down to training.  Some of you may not be aware that on 2 occasions Jack was sent to Papua New Guinea on behalf of The Australian Olympic Committee in search of swimming talent.    

Apart from swimming Dad’s 2nd great sporting passion was following his beloved Carlton Blues.  He loved nothing more than to see them flogging Richmond in the company of his Father-in-law, another Jack and brothers-in-law, Tony and Peter, who were avid Tigers fans.  It’s been fairly slim pickings over recent years for the Blues but as is so true of Jack, his loyalty to them has never faltered.  Whilst in hospital we were sitting quietly with Dad thinking he was asleep.  But he perked up the instant he realised that Carlton were playing Brisbane on the TV and for a few moments, while Fev was kicking 8 and leading the Blues on to win, he might have even forgotten he was sick.

He would prepare for the Olympics as meticulously as the athletes that were to compete in them.  Television Program, Spare batteries for the remote, Chair position.  He even went as far as putting a TV in his classroom and told his class they were going to have an intensive study of the Olympic Games so he wouldn’t miss an event for the entire 2 weeks.   

He also had a great love of camping, fishing and music.  Often times he could find a way of arranging them to happen all at the same time. Whether it was with his friends down at Somers Camp where he put in over 20 years of service or out on the road with his mates.  So much of Jack’s life has been spent on the banks of a river somewhere; a line in the water hopeful that the fish might be biting; camp fire burning and Dad, strumming away singing songs for hours or playing tunes on his fiddle. People would seemingly appear from nowhere around the campfire, drawn to him through his music.  Occasionally it would be a commercial arrangement where campgrounds that knew of his amazing abilities would pre-arrange with him to play a few tunes each evening in return for a free camp spot and a few nips of Baileys but most of the time it was purely for the love of it.

As kids we were very lucky to have Dad teaching us his Bushy skills.  Between him and his great mate Brad ‘Frosty’ Forrest we’ve learnt the arts of knot tying, orienteering, camp craft, how you can get a 6 inch long wriggling scrub worm onto an inch long hook to guarantee success.  We learnt to drive on these trips, shoot at targets, cast a line, set a rabbit trap, bury carp!  As children it was our initiation into adulthood.  Reaching the age of 8 meant we could finally join Dad on his adventures.  He has inspired in us and his grandchildren a great love of fishing, the outdoors and to appreciate the joy that can be found in time spent with friends and strangers around a campfire.

Jack was a man who could smile in trouble and gather strength from distress.  He always seemed to remain calm in the most trying of circumstances.  Once, while on one of our camping trips, we were involved in an accident that resulted in our caravan being flipped onto its side as our car slid off the road.  While we crawled from the car to survey the damage and onlookers gathered to check we were alright Dad was heard to say “Has anyone got a rag?  I’ve always wanted to give the roof of this van a clean!”
There’s no doubting Jack loved a laugh.  He would tell jokes and stories to anyone who’d listen long into the night.  One story would lead into another, then a few lines from a song, then a joke.  There seemed to be no limit in his ability to recall events, people and places weaving them effortlessly together to entertain and inform.  He also seemed to just know everybody.  When you first met him, he’d want to know where you came from or where you went to school.  It wouldn’t take him too long to work out who he knew that you knew.  This ability was proven time and time again both here in Australia and overseas.

He also drank quite a lot for a bloke who purported not to drink.  He avoided beer at all costs unless he was absolutely desperate and there was nothing else cold or wet on hand.  He did love adding things to milk.  In the early days it was Milo or Quick in a big old German Stein mug he had.  He’s also been known to add sarsaparilla or raspberry cordial, strawberry flavour or vanilla with malt.  More recently though he’s been adding things like Kahlua and Baileys.  On trips when he had a thirst to quench he’d wander into a store and grab a litre of milk from the fridge.   He’d open it, have a quick swig and then hand it over the counter asking to have some flavour added and a quick wiz in the milkshake maker.  Not bad value actually, $2.50 for a 2L Milkshake.

He had a great love of words and language.  Collective nouns, Trivia, crosswords and board games also provided him with many hours of entertainment.  Summer holidays revolved around fishing of course, but on the days when the weather didn’t allow Dad would happily take on all and sundry in Cribbage, Backgammon, Euchre or Chess.  

Dad enjoyed his golf and he had his own unique style. Many who witnessed this unique demonstration of biomechanics at there best were totally amazed.  If you looked carefully both feet were clearly off the ground when he hit the ball.

A farmer, a teacher, a scholar, a family man,  a musician, a fisherman, a coach, a sportsman, a friend, a story teller, a gentleman, a dance caller, an inspiration.  We love him, we’ll miss him.  So wherever you see people gather in friendship, hear music or laughter or find yourself dropping a line in somewhere be assured that Jack is right there with you.

Latest Tributes

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Flower Memorial Tribute
From: markg
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I am so indebted to Jack for so many great experiences that have filled my life with excitement and purpose simply be...
Memory Memorial Tribute
From: apevery
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Claire and Damian Caine - Jack played the violin at our wedding “Ave Maria” with Margaret on the Piano.
Comment Memorial Tribute
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Ange Marinakis - Most people chose money to give them love and happiness. Jack already had the happiness and Love....
Memory Memorial Tribute
From: apevery
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Genevieve Lacy I’m so sorry that Jack’s not with us anymore. You gave his a beautiful send off on Tuesday. He would...
Memory Memorial Tribute
From: apevery
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Soverign Hill Newsletter – 25 June, 2009, Marg Aplen It is with the greatest of sadness that the passing of Bush B...
Memory Memorial Tribute
From: apevery
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Garry Powell - His determination and hours of training to pass his Bronze Medallion and Practical Gymnastics in 1966...
Comment Memorial Tribute
From: apevery
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Monday, 15 June 2009 CAINE. - Jack. Dearest family friend for over sixty wonderful years. Our thoughts and prayers a...


Fathers Name: Michael James Caine
Mothers Name: Anastasia Maud Bray
Spouse's Name: Elizabeth Anne Nuttall
Children's Names: Michael, Marita, John, Jacinta, Peter and Anna
Siblings Names: Gerald (Dec), Ursula (Dec), Sr. Angela, Sr. Ursula, Patricia
Country of Birth: Australia
Country of Residence: Australia
City of Residence: Ballarat
Occupation: Education & Training
Marital Status: Married
Religion: Catholic


Favourite Sport: Football
Favourite Team: Carlton
Favourite Music Genre: Folk
Other Interests:
Music, Sport, Camping, Fishing


Place of Passing: Melbourne, Australia
Date of Passing: 12 June 2009
Cause of Passing: Cancer
Type of Funeral: Catholic
Place of Burial: Ballarat New Cemetery
Plot Number: 11, 12
Funeral Director: Pat Cashin
Funeral Location: Ballarat
Funeral Date: 16 June 2009


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