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The award for GPS Cross Country Championship winner (Champion School) goes to the school with the highest aggregate points for placings for all events.
The Jack Ross Trophy is named after JOHN ELLIOTT (JACK) ROSS (1894- 1973), who preferred to be known as “Jack”.
Jack arrived at St Joseph’s Nudgee College as a student in 1908, and would subsequently represent the College in the 1st XI (1912), 1st XV (1911-1912), was College rifle champion (1911-1912), Tennis Champion in 1911 and College champion in the 440 and 880 yards.
After completing Senior in 1913 he studied law for a year, although his legal ambitions were curtailed by financial constraints. Jack successfully applied for a teaching position at Nudgee College, and as his daughter Mary observed, the rest is history. From 1914 into the 1970s, Jack Ross taught at the College. He generally took the commercial classes, which could include pharmacy and law. Mary remembers him as a very principled person, believing strongly in the virtue of honesty. He tried to help students, not only in the subjects he taught, but in lifestyle as well. He never told people how things should be done. He tried to show them.
Outside the College he was also very active in community life. He was Secretary of the Nudgee College Old Boys’ Association for over 50 years, as well as being President of Brothers Rugby Football Club from 1935 to 1973. He was Chairman of the Queensland Rugby Union from 1938 – 1949. He promoted the switch back to Rugby Union in 1928 after the schools had been turned to Rugby League in 1920. For generations of Nudgee College students, Ross was the epitome of the Nudgee College dream. Ross Oval commemorates the outstanding endeavours of Mr. John Elliot Ross.
Known as that “Grand Old Man” or “Mr GPS”, he was also Secretary of the GPS Association from 1928 to 1959. In all that time he saw every GPS Swimming Championship and only missed one GPS Track and Field Championship in 1960, as he was ill in hospital, so he followed events on television.
The Jack Ross Trophy honours a man who had an enormous impact at St Joseph’s Nudgee College and an unrivalled impact on all GPS competition.
Source: T. Max Hawkins (1965; Jacaranda Press Pty Ltd),’ The Queensland Great Public Schools', thanks also goes to Paul Daly at Nudgee College for providing additional information.