He was a school teacher and principal until his retirement, and became interested in maritime history after preparing several general history booklets for the Otway region of western Victoria.In 1995, Jack Loney was to be presented with a special award from the State Government of Victoria for his public contribution as a maritime historian, author, and educator.The character and prominence of Jack Loney is not measured by his extensive knowledge of maritime Australia, nor by the fact that he had written over one hundred publications; nor because he was on the Historic Shipwrecks Advisory Committee, nor because he was involved in a large number of maritime associations.It is simply because he was - a gentleman, an educator, who gave so much of himself to others.His colourful views on popular legends like the Mahogany Ship and Benitos Treasure, his critical examination of the Historic Shipwrecks Act, and his enormous collection of fascinating shipwreck stories from all over Australia attracted widespread interest whenever he spoke at dinner meetings, recreational seminars, and historical society functions.He was born in 1925 and until his untimely death lived in Portarlington, Victoria with wife Padge, and two children, Peter and Sally.Perhaps his printers could have assisted, but it would not have been the printer's responsibility.
Jack's research was based on many primary and secondary sources - Courts of Inquiry, Marine Board hearings, police records, shipping records - and newspapers.
I can recall a time when he mentioned that the one hundred book-mark had been reached, but I apologise for the ignorance of not remembering when this was. I thought I had all - or at least most - of his books and booklets but only as recently as July 2012, I was introduced to yet another Loney publication by Peter Lendon, at his excellent second-hand bookshop at Yarragon, on the Princes Highway east of Melbourne.
(It was The Rambler's Guide to West Coast Shiprecks).
As with the writings of any researcher, it is the later publications that have the higher voracity; for this reason it is important to know when a publicatiion was printed.
And here I must gently lower Jack down one rung on the pedistal that I unashamedly place him on - not all of his publication have a date; in fact, most don't. But the blame is not entirely Jack's; his publishers should have known better. Jack published most of the work himself, and the usual requirements of a publisher would not have been on his mind.