'Gelignite' Jack Murray

'Gelignite' Jack Murray

'Gelignite' Jack Murray


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More Information
By Phil Murray
Format Paperback / softback
Page Extent 358
Book Size 25 x 165 x 240 mm (H x W x D)
Imprint New Holland Publishers
Release Date 1 Jun 2017
Subject Classification Biography: general / Biography: sport

At the mere mention of the name ‘Gelignite’ Jack Murray, any Australian from the Baby Boomer era or older can’t help but to crack a smile. Murray was best known as the rally driver who in 1954 won the REDEX Round Australia Reliability Trial without the loss of a single point; but Jack’s sporting interests and achievements were eclectic and far-ranging.

In his own words, at different times throughout his life he was ‘engaged in various sports with various successes’: cycling; VFL schoolboy football; stock car racing; hill climbing motor races; circuit car racing; car endurance events; Australian and NSW Grand Prix racing; international and Australian rally driving; wrestling; boxing; crocodile, kangaroo and buffalo hunting; ocean boat racing and waterskiing—to name most, but not all.

Oh yes—Jack even raced a bathtub once, plug in.

Jack Murray died in 1983. Encounters with those who met him, knew him and loved him now grow fewer and fewer, as the years pass and the Reliability Trials of the 1950s drift into Australian history and folklore. Jack’s personal and nonpublic life, showing the man behind the derring-do, has never been fully explored or written about.

Here for the first time is Murray’s full story as told by his son Phil Murray. Son of the legendary ‘Gelignite’ Jack Murray, Phil has inherited his father’s genes when it comes to adventure, seeking personal challenges and embracing all life has to offer. Just as his father did, Phil believes life is best lived following some pretty simple instructions: ‘Don’t take yourself too seriously’. Thus Phil is the perfect person to display to the world a man whom many thought they knew, but who was much more complicated and talented than his racing exploits would lead us to believe.

Phil Murray

Son of the legendary Australian larrikin ‘Gelignite’ Jack Murray, famous REDEX Reliability Trial driver and sportsman of the 1950s, Phil has inherited his father’s genes when it comes to adventure.

Phil’s adventures and achievements have included: white-water rafting the Grand Canyon; trekking on three continents (Himalayas, Africa and Australia); as well as travelling extensively throughout Europe, Africa, South America and Asia.

One of his adventures which provided inspiration for his writing involved following in ‘the footsteps of heroes’— walking the iconic Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea and experiencing Anzac Day 2009 at the Isurava Memorial.

Phil’s professional career has been varied. He worked for many years as a registered land surveyor, consultant, trainer and major projects manager for Australia’s largest water infrastructure company.

Writing has always been a passion and the moving to Nelson Bay introduced him to a creative circle of local writers and artists. Now in his early 60s, he has been happily married to Rhonda for 30 years. His interests, like his writing, are eclectic, and include golf, sailing, surfboard riding, mountain bike riding, scuba diving, volunteering as a Native Wildlife Rescuer and, having been a competitive bodybuilder in the 1980s, Phil remains a gym junkie maintaining a high level of fitness for his active and varied lifestyle.

Phil gained a great sense of achievement and satisfaction by writing his father’s long-overdue biography.