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Popular former Shepparton publican farewelled

The funeral for former Aussie Hotel owner Jack Phillips was yesterday.

JOHN LEWIS April 3, 2014 5:02am

Former Aussie Hotel owner Jack Phillips was given a warm and yarn-filled farewell at his funeral service in Shepparton yesterday.

Mr Phillips died suddenly on his 91st birthday on Friday last week.

He ran the iconic Shepparton hotel for 35 years from 1944 with his brothers Don, Reg, Laurie and Brian. Jan Phillips, wife of Jack’s nephew Paul, said St Brendan’s Church in Shepparton was packed during yesterday’s service.

‘‘People talked of his war service and his 35 years ‘working’ behind the bar at The Aussie,’’ Mrs Phillips said.

She said a story was recounted of customers continually asking for a colour television in the saloon bar.

‘‘Jack was an avid Collingwood supporter and always refused saying, ‘Black-and-white was the only colour you need’,’’ she said.

She said one day a patron came in and blasted the old black-and-white TV with a shotgun.

‘‘So that was it — they got their colour TV,’’ she said.

Mrs Phillips said she remembered Jack as a quiet, fascinating man.

‘‘He was a dear man, a delight to be around. He was a quiet man, but he could tell a great yarn,’’ she said.

A private cremation followed yesterday’s service.

Jack is survived by his four children John, Brendan, Catherine and Tom, eight grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

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