Vale Phil Hutton (1946–2022)
Glenhuntly Athletic Club – Latest News
The Glenhuntly Athletic Club and the Victorian Athletics community mourn the passing on 14th November, 2022, of our great friend, Phil Hutton.
Inaugural Club Legend, Life Member, and author of "Go Hunters", the recently published club history, Phil was a member of Glenhuntly Athletic Club for over 60 continuous years of the club's 101-year life and one of our most dedicated and admired members. He was officially recognised by Athletics Victoria for 50 years of membership. He was a much respected friend and colleague to many in the Victorian Athletics community, regularly officiating at AV events and supporting schools and clubs in our athletic circles.
Phil was 'one of the friendliest chaps around the athletics scene and always had a smile on his face'.*
Phil is remembered for the love of his family and friends, of his work, and the institutions he supported. Words used to describe Phil include – welcoming, friendly, generous, kind, gentle, supportive, encouraging, and ... inspirational. He was a mainstay of the Glenhuntly Athletic Club, the drive behind the "Go Hunters!", and we will miss him dearly.
Phil joined the Glenhuntly Athletic Club as a teenager in 1961. He was a regular, capable competitor in distance and walking events, racking up points for the team as often as he could. Phil continued competing in both summer and winter events until ill health curtailed his involvement in 2016.
Over the years, Phil performed many roles within the club not only as athlete but also as committee member, AV club delegate and official, registrar, team manager (including of our Junior athletes), lap scorer, club historian, statistician (including maintaining our club records), fundraiser, volunteer at fun runs (including supporting aid stations for The Great Train Race in Emerald and the Melbourne Marathon), club newsletter author and editor, treasurer and auditor, and more. Phil chaired the committee for the selection of the club's Team of the 20th Century and was involved in the organising committees for the celebrations of the club's 75th, 80th, 90th, and 100th anniversary dinners. He was also a staunch supporter of the annual challenge with the Western Districts Club in South Australia, which has endured for 76 years. Despite regular treatment for his cancer, Phil continued to be involved in many different facets of the club.
Phil was honoured with the club's inaugural Hunter Legend Award in 2018. The description of the award summarises Phil's passion for the club. A Club Legend is "awarded to a Life Member who has continued an extraordinary contribution over a long period of time, well beyond the criteria of his or her Life Membership award, to the culture, longevity, and success of the Club and its members. Our Club Legends embody the spirit and character of the Hunters." As of 2022, there are only six Glenhuntly Athletic Club Legends.
Historian and statistician
Phil first assumed the role of Club Historian in 1969 in partnership with Bill Coupe in the lead-up to the club's 50th anniversary. The die was cast, and Phil spent years of meticulously researching and compiling the history of our club, including the cataloging of personalities, events, successes and challenges of Glenhuntly athletes, coaches, supporters and leaders, all striving together under the blue boomerang. This culminated in Phil's mammoth task of authoring the Glenhuntly Athletic Club history book, "Go Hunters" – ensuring it was published in time for the club's Centenary dinner, celebrating 100 years of Glenhuntly Athletic Club. This book is not only a valuable resource for our own club but is also a significant contribution to the history of athletics in Australia. Not only did Phil invest in the written documentation of the club's history, he also collected an incredible array of club memorabilia which he neatly catalogued and physically filed or stored at his own home.
"Go Hunters" is a valuable addition to the history of athletics in Australia
Friend at Ferny
Phil's involvement in the club occurred during an era of exceptional athletes who happened to come together in the Hunters fold to train and compete, and they ultimately forged long-lasting friendships. The Ferny Creek ritual continues today, where these long-standing good friends still come together on a weekly basis to run/walk and talk along the forest trails. Phil was there just 3 weeks before he passed away ... in spite of the burdens he endured with his cancer treatments, getting to Ferny and spending time with his Hunter friendship circle was something he cherished. Likewise, his Hunter friends at Ferny - some who have been friends with Phil since 1961 when Phil first approached the club - will sorely miss the weekly walks and morning tea with Phil.
Educator and Mentor
Not only did Phil serve Glenhuntly Athletic Club for more than 60 years, he also invested considerable energy into his other passion of teaching. Thus, he was a highly valued teacher and colleague at Camberwell Grammar School and a respected leader in Scouts Australia where he was recipient of the highest award possible, the Baden-Powell Scout Award.
The Glenhuntly Athletic Club extends our sincere condolences and deepest sympathy to Phil's wife, Lorraine, son Scott, daughter Deanne, daughter-in-law Jacqui and grandchildren Luke, Alicia, Xavier, Amity and Eddie, including his brother, Roger, and sister, Jean, and his extended family.
A funeral service to celebrate the life of Phil was held at the Heritage Funeral Home in Wantirna on Wednesday 23rd November, 2022. If you were not able to attend the service and wish to honour the memory of Phil, please consider making a donation to the Myeloma Foundation Australia https://myeloma.org.au/donate-in-memory
Contributors: Trevor Vincent, Gerry Torpy, Michael Ryan, Kara Gilbert, and Phil Hutton's family
Phil Hutton's Go Hunters – The history of Glenhuntly Athletics Club (published 2021, Melbourne, Australia)
Glenhuntly Athletic Club Facebook page (*post by Mark Chew)
Curated by: Kara Gilbert
Date published: 25th November, 2022
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