The Australian Rugby community is mourning the loss of Australia’s oldest Wallaby, Charles ‘Gordon’ Stone, who passed away peacefully at the age of 100 on Saturday 7 February.
Gordon Stone became Wallaby number 316 when he played one Test in scrumhalf for Australia against the All Blacks in 1938. He also represented the NSW Waratahs seven times and played 93 first grade matches for Randwick Rugby Club in Sydney.
Gordon Stone received a standing ovation by more than 43,000 spectators when he was honoured at halftime during the third Test against France at Allianz Stadium in June last year.
After playing his first and only Test match, Gordon contributed to Australia’s war effort in the 119th Australian General Hospital Unit in New Guinea, New Britain and Darwin, where he was stationed during the Darwin Bombings on 19 February 1942.
Australian Rugby Union CEO, Bill Pulver paid tribute to Gordon Stone.
“Gordon’s remarkable life is a reflection of his wonderful character and strength of spirit. He is someone who has lived some of Rugby’s great attributes of integrity, strong character and teamwork and we join his family in celebrating Gordon’s life.
Gordon Stone grew up around the now closed Prince Henry Hospital in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs and spent much his youth playing Rugby on the hospital oval.
Gordon attended secondary school at Sydney Boys High and was appointed as prefect before completing his leaving certificate in 1933. During his time at school he excelled as a Rugby player and was named captain of the first XV.
Upon finishing his education Gordon joined Randwick Rugby Club winning three premierships (1934, 1938 and 1940). Gordon’s stellar career with the ‘Galloping Greens’ was rewarded with state and then national selection in 1938.
Gordon began his professional career as a “medical technologist” at the Prince Henry Hospital, where he also met his wife, Iris Sharpe, who was working at the hospital as a nurse.
After both he and Iris were reunited after the War they started their young family with son Peter and daughter Judy.
Gordon passed away peacefully surrounded by his family.