Jack Halsall

Sports Hall of Fame Inductee

Category: Sports Hall of Fame

Sport: Motor Cyclist

People who have lived in the Goulburn Valley over the last 90 years have been aware of one of the top motorcycle dealers Halsalls, which is the oldest continuing motorcycle dealership in Australia. It was not surprising that the son of the original proprietor of Halsall’s would take up motorcycle racing as a sport. Jack Halsall grew up around motorcycles.

When he was 14 Jack started riding a new 125 c.c. Acme 2 stroke bike his father bought. Jack had a good grasp on how to control the bike but his knowledge of stopping it was nil. Consequently, damage to the Halsall’s back fence was considerable. At the age of 18 Jack obtained his first machine, a 1949 Tiger Triumph and joined the local Shepparton Motor bike Club to start his racing career. He had got the racing bug and wanted more power so purchased a 350 c.c. B.S.A machine. He moved to Melbourne to take up a job and joined the Hartwell Motorcycle Club where he raced in various road races. His first win came at 22 years old, winning a double at the Phillip Island circuit. His neat style of riding and the immaculate appearance of both himself and his machine was a great advertisement for the sport. Jack loved the sport and spent many weekends at Phillip Island and at other race tracks learning the craft of controlling fast motorbikes and taking out titles in both junior and senior events. Things were tough in those days, the pits at race tracks were out in the open and there was no sponsorship. However Jack continued on and gained a fierce reputation as a top rider. In 1959 he was successful in winning the Australian 500cc Championship on the Phillip Island track. He also won a Victorian Grand Prix.

Jack returned to Shepparton to take over his father’s motorcycle business.

He had made plans to race against the best in the world at the Isle of Man however love came into his life and he chose to marry Bev and raise a family of two daughters Lisa and Julienne.

Being back in Shepparton Jack took up one of his other sporting loves, cricket and gave 25 years continuous service to the sport including 6 years as secretary of the Shepparton Cricket Association. He made a number of centuries and represented the association at both Bendigo and Melbourne Country Week series.

Jack was also president of the G.V. Motorcycle club and acted as a delegate on the State Association. When time allowed Jack loved to ride his motorbike in the bush and took part in major rides with friends across the Simpson Desert and up the Birdsville track. The fearless speedster also took on parachuting and hot air ballooning. He had a serious threat to his life when his hot air balloon hit power lines and Jack had to jump for safety before the balloon and basket erupted in flames.

Jack Halsall was a quiet achiever who lived life to the full doing what he loved best. He thoroughly deserved his Australian motorcycle title and the accolades bestowed upon him as a great bloke and a good community and businessman. Jack was a wonderful promoter of motorcycling, he gave great assistance to young riders and taught them about safe riding. His name will long be remembered as “Mister Motorcycles” in the Goulburn Valley.