Ballan statesman Tom Mullane dies

BALLAN has lost its town statesman with the death last Friday of Thomas (Tom) Mullane.

Mr Mullane died just two months short of his 90th birthday in the Ballan Hospital.

His son Mick said his father, who was also nicknamed Tiger, had an extensive community service history.

"You name it, he was in it," Mick said. "He was just nature's gentleman."

Mr Mullane was involved with the Ballan Football Netball Club for more than 70 years, with their clubrooms named after him.

He began his senior football career in 1940 on his 16th birthday and only stepped down from the committee when he was 86. It was a career which included five stints as president.

He played senior football until he was 32, playing in Bacchus Marsh Football League premiership teams in 1948 and 1956 and being voted best on field in the 1956 win.

He also put in 25 years as the reserve's goal umpire and was a life member of the BFNC, the Central Highlands Football League and the Victorian Country Football League.

Mr Mullane was also involved in the tennis club, fire brigade, recreation reserve committee, hall committee, parish board, school committee and was a shire councillor in the former Ballan Shire.

Mr Mullane was a well-known district farmer, with his grandparents, Patrick and Mary Mullane, settling in the Ballan district in 1867 on their property Dunmoylan.

A tribute in The Courier from his daughter Barb referred to his "love for family, footy, farm, friends and fun" while another said: "You're our role model to be the men we hope to become - you were simply the best."

Mr Mullane is survived by his wife Mary, seven children, 27 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.

His funeral will be held in St Brigid's Church, Ballan tomorrow at 2pm.

fiona.henderson@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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