Jack Fraser was a prominent footballer in Adelaide before becoming one of the most successful farmers on the West Coast.
He was born at Gawler on 14 May 1867, the son of William and Margaret Fraser. He may well have been the J. Fraser who was one of the leading players in the first Adelaide Football Club’s final years, 1891-1893. He was possibly the Fraser who played with South Adelaide in 1894. After his death on 27 June 1929, the Port Lincoln Times said: “He played for the Norwood team, and took part in inter-State matches.” The latter claim cannot be substantiated and his career at Norwood at a time of patchy records-keeping is not at all clear.
We believe that he participated in Norwood’s amazing defeat of West Adelaide at the Jubilee Oval in 1898. Kicking against the wind, an incomplete Norwood team booted 1.10 to nil in the first quarter. After a rough-and-tumble second quarter, players limped and hobbled to the pavilion with Norwood leading 2.13 to 0.3. Strengthened for the second half by the acquisition of a couple of onlookers – Jack may have been one of them – Norwood went on to win 4.17 to 1.7.
Jack married Catherine Davies in the Barunga Methodist Church in 1900. He took up 3,640 acres at Wharminda. He worked the land for 20 years, acquiring adjoining properties to build the family holding to between 12,000 and 15,000 acres. He was a justice of the peace and also postmaster at Wharminda.
Jack was 62 when he died at North Adelaide Private Hospital after a long illness, survived by his widow and children David, Malcolm, Irene (Walton), Doreen (Suffren), Norma (Cooper), Jack and James. He is buried in the Payneham Cemetery.
P. Robins, D. Cox, G. Adams June 2023