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Sir John Clancy Exhibition

John Clancy
At War 
At Work
Friends
& Leisure
Ethel Clancy
Margaret Clancy

This exhibition displays a selection of photographs from the personal papers of Sir John Clancy, who was Vice President / Deputy Chancellor (1953 - 1960) and Chancellor (1960 - 1970) of the University of New South Wales. More photographs from these papers are available for viewing in the University Archives.

These papers were kindly donated to the Archives in 2002 following the death of Sir John's daughter, Miss Margaret Clancy, who had left instructions on the matter with her father's former judicial associate.


Sir John Sydney James Clancy
 
 As a young boy, c. 1902
(Photographer: Howard Harris, UNSW Archives)
 At home, 1923
 (UNSW Archives)
With the Clancy dog, Jerry, 1926
(UNSW Archives)
 
"Every stage of [life's] journey has had its recompense, its compensations and, indeed, its rewards.  Every stage of that journey has been marked by something of pleasure..." 
- Sir John Clancy, 11 February 1967
 
John Sydney James Clancy was born in Sydney on 30 May 1895.  He was educated at Darlinghurst's Marist Brothers High School and passed the Public Service Examination held in October 1913.  After the war, John Clancy studied part-time at Sydney University where he completed a Bachelor of Laws degree in 1925.  In 1962 he received an honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of New England.  In 1964 the Queen appointed him a Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George and in 1967 a Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.
 
Sir John Clancy died on 15 October 1970.  On 23 August 1971 the University of New South Wales awarded him a posthumous degree of Doctor of Laws (honoris causa).

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At War
 
 
With fellow soldiers on the battlefield (second from left)
 (UNSW Archives)
 
On a cart ride (right) with a fellow soldier, c. 1918
(UNSW Archives)
 
"Nobody would suggest that the life of an infantryman on active service is exactly a pleasant one, but it had its compensations.  One learnt there a proper assessment of the term comradeship..."
- Sir John Clancy, 11 February 1967
 
When World War I broke out, John Clancy was one of the first to enlist for active service in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF).  He left Australia in August 1914 on the ship Berrima, bound for Rabaul, and took part in campaigns in both New Guinea and the Western Front.  Badly wounded at Bullecourt during the Battle of Arras, John Clancy was honourably discharged from the 20th Batt AIF in 1918.

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At Work
 
 
On admittance to the bar, c. 1925
(UNSW Archives)
 
Constance Stonnington, Lady Clancy, Sir John Clancy, Dr Henry Stonnington at the University's U Ball, 1967
(Photographer: Allan West, UNSW Archives CN486/1/2/9)
 
Robert Webster, John Clancy & Frank Mathews, September 1962
(Photographer: Jack Hickson, UNSW Archives 02A118)
 
"No man has laboured with more zeal and conscientiousness in the discharge of his duties than His Honour..."
- Chief Justice C. J. Herron on Sir John Clancy's retirement from the bench, 26 May 1965
 
After his return from war John Clancy initially regained his employment in the Head Officer of the Department of Education, which he had joined in 1913.  His interest, however, soon turned to the law and he was admitted to the Bar in 1925.  In 1926 John Clancy was appointed as the first Legal Officer of the Government Insurance Office.  He quickly took on greater responsibilities - as a District Court judge from 1931, chairman of the Crown Employees Appeals Board for 1944 - 1947 and as a puisne judge in the Supreme Court from July 1947 until his retirement from the bench in May 1965.
 
John Clancy also worked tirelessly for the University from its beginnings.  In 1949 he became a foundation member of the University Council and then Vice President in 1953, a position that was known as Deputy Chancellor from 1955.  In 1960, on the death of Chancellor Wallace Wurth, John Clancy was unanimously elected Chancellor - a post he held until his retirement in June 1970.

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Friends & Leisure
 
 
Enjoying a drink with bushwalking companions (far right), Easter 1919
(UNSW Archives)
 
With a group of friends on the rocks at Coogee (far right), c. 1922
(UNSW Archives)
 
Driving with friends, 1920s
(UNSW Archives)
 
"Kind and courteous friend..."
- Chief Justice C. J. Herron on Sir John Clancy's retirement from the bench, 26 May 1965
 
John Clancy's photographs reflect an active social life with a variety of outside interests and friends.  As well as photography itself, he also enjoyed sailing and bushwalking, particularly in the Blue Mountains area. 

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Lady Christobel Florence Ethel Clancy
 
 
At the seaside, 1920s
(UNSW Archives)
 
At her desk, 1920s
(UNSW Archives)
 
With her sister Nell, 1920s
(UNSW Archives)
 
"Someone has said that there is something very nice about Sir John Clancy.  This of course is Lady Clancy, who is much beloved in the University..."
- Vice-Chancellor Sir Philip Baxter, 11 February 1967
 
John Clancy met Christobel Florence Ethel Buckland while they were working together at the Department of Education.  They married in August 1922.  As was customary at the time, on her marriage Ethel Clancy resigned from her Department position. 
 
Lady Clancy played a fundamental role in supporting Sir John throughout his life.  In August 1971, she accepted the testamur for Sir John's posthumous Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) degree and also officially opened the Clancy Auditorium at the University of New South Wales. 

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Margaret Ethel Clancy
 
 
At Audley National Park, 1940
(UNSW Archives)
In Sydney, 1940s
(Photographer: Smiling Snaps, UNSW Archives 02A118)
 
Margaret Clancy (at right) with friends Pat Nowlan & Maureen O'Laughlin, 1953
(Photographer: Sydney Morning Herald, UNSW Archives 02A118)
 
"My Associate and my daughter..."
- John Clancy, 23 July 1959
 
John Clancy's only child, Margaret, was born in 1935.  Educated at Loreto Kirribilli, she later completed a course in art design at East Sydney Technical College and was also a talented actress.  In 1959 she became a Clerk Associate to her father at the Supreme Court. 
 
Margaret Clancy passed away on 4 July 1998.


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