BROTHER Jason Duck had a strong commitment to social justice and shone with perseverance as he worked towards his goal of becoming a Catholic priest.
The former Ballarat Football Umpires Association (BFUA) social director died of a heart attack on July 14 at St Kieran’s Catholic Church in Moe, age 40.
His father Gerard Duck described Jason as “warm, very caring and extremely loyal.”
“He was very caring to his nan and to his mum, myself and his brothers and little sister,” he said.
Jason, who worked in the parish of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, was in his sixth year of studying for his bachelor of theology and going for his masters to be a Catholic priest.
When he wasn’t studying, he was helping in the community as a chaplain.
Always, from his time as a little boy, Jason had a strong sense of social justice.
“It became more evident when he was working for the Australian Labor Party in Geoff Howard’s office as an electorate officer,” Gerard said.
“It was in this stage he made contact with the Oblates and decided to join them.”
Jason grew up in Ballarat and was educated at Villa Maria, before attending St Paul’s Technical College and St Martin’s in the Pines.
He played junior football in the Ballarat Football League and decided to take up umpiring after there was a shortage.
“He finished up umpiring 154 games in the BFL,” Gerard said.
“He went to America in 2011 and worked in New Orleans at the Oblates Parish helping to aid victims. It was in an impoverished state after the flood.”
Former Ballarat Football Umpires association board member Daryl Devereux said Jason started umpiring as a 16-year-old and went on to join the association’s board of directors.
There, he played an important role in recruiting young people to become umpires.
“He was a very impressive young lad,” he said. “He definitely made an impression on the people he met.”
His memorial mass will be held 9.30am this Thursday at St Alipius.