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SHUTER, John Charles Clement (1925-2012)

SHUTER, John Charles Clement (1925-2012)

Farmer and grazier of Holbrook, John Shuter enjoyed adventure and challenge and throughout his life demonstrated a profound strength of character and determination to pursue his ambitions. One of his most ambitious projects was the building of a 17.7 metre boat in the middle of Australia and 400 kilometres from the ocean.

Born on 26 August, 1925 to Dudley and Kitty Shuter, John attended College as a boarder from 1937 to 1943 after first being enrolled at Melbourne Grammar School. At the College, he became Warrinn House vice-captain in 1943 and an active member of rowing crews from 1941 to 1943. In 1943, John was a member of the 1st Rowing VIII, Captain of Boats, and a member of the 1942 Relay Team. This was a period when boxing was a College activity and John sparred well in these sessions. A member at School of the College Air Training Corps he left School to enlist in the RAAF on 10 September, 1943 becoming a Flight Sergeant with 1 Aircraft Depot. Among his duties was the ferrying of damaged aircraft back from New Guinea which further spurred his fascination with flying. He was discharged from the RAAF on 22 February, 1946.

After the war he settled on a soldier Settlement block at Wakool developing it from scratch but was attracted back to flying, crop dusting with a tiger moth. He married his first wife Dorothy Kelsall in 1952. A serious crash in 1964 left him severely injured but despite this setback he rehabilitated himself and returned to farming, acquiring a new property at Lankey’s Creek near Holbrook. During this period he started sailing on Lake Hume with the Albury Sailing Club and before long had embarked on what was to become a 30 year project to build a boat. The boat, named ‘Noah’ by the locals and ‘Katie’ by John, after his mother, was eventually launched at Westernport Bay. John later sold it replacing it with a smaller 10m vessel which, on a voyage to Norfolk Island, was wrecked after running aground at Gabo Island. Never daunted he then bought a caravan and toured Australia. His sons David and ‘Jonty’ Shuter, said that their father ‘never took the easy way out, faced challenges head on and loved the process of resolving them’.

His brother, Dr Dudley James Shuter (1929-1987), was also a boarder at the School and his grand-daughter, Heidi, is currently a College student. John died, age 87, at Mercy Hospital, Albury on 22 November, 2012.

Sources: Border Mail (Albury) 23 Nov 2012; John Sloane; David and ‘Jonty’ Shuter. (OGC 1939).
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