Jack Peter Chapman
Jack Chapman from The Channon died on September 30 this year, aged 19, after a tragic car accident near Clunes. This is a tribute to Jack written by family and friends.
Jack Peter Chapman (aka Our Jack, Jack Rabbit, Jackie Boy, Jackie Chan and Dr Chan 69) burst into the world three weeks early on December 29 1986 International Year of Peace, in the Chinese Year of the Fire Tiger. A much loved second son for Annie Heitmann and Peter Chapman and younger brother for Sam, he was born at home in Nymboida, south of Grafton. He grew up initially in Nymboida, then Bellingen, Grafton and The Channon, becoming part of a large extended family that includes two sisters, Caseylee Sharpe and Hailee Byrne, step-parents Irene Hensen, Katrina Byrne and Andy Putnam, and all his other relations, aunties, uncles and cousins too numerous to name. Jack completed year 12 with a great bunch of friends at Richmond River High School, Lismore, in 2004 and went on to become an apprentice plumber. He was very good at his job, enjoying the variety of skills that this work required and gained distinctions and credits at his TAFE plumbing course. No challenge was too difficult for Jacks practical and headstrong mind, and he loved inventing, constructing and fixing things.
He also loved to travel, which took him many places around the world: school excursions within Australia, Thailand with The Channon Youth Group and Yorkshire, England several times, especially to visit nannie and grandad (Lucy and Arthur Chapman) and even to Paris, Barcelona and Amsterdam with his mum and brother. A natural communicator, he would befriend anyone and was especially drawn to those people who were a little bit quirky. He had a diverse bunch of friends of various ages, between Lismore and Grafton, from school, TAFE, work, his household and the local communities of Nymboida and The Channon. Jack was an especially valued housemate in his Lismore share house and was always willing to lend a hand. Jack also had a strong connection with animals, especially his pet bird of many years, Captain Starlight. His fertile imagination and wicked sense of humour has left his family and friends with many stories to share.
Doctor Chan 69 was a party boy who loved his music. Having tried various instruments and deciding none was the right one for him, he progressed to DJ and had begun mixing his own songs. His ultimate dream was to tour big music festivals as a pyro-technician and DJ. He loved his car and with his electronic and mechanical skills, he was always on a mission to improve it (especially to impress the girls!). Always the life of the party, a lovable rogue whose exceptional sense of humour managed to shine through in any situation, Jackie Boy never failed to entertain everybody with his quick wit and mischievous ways. In the words of his 23-year-old brother Sam, he had a pretty friggin far out attitude and nothing much ever phased him. A true free spirit who embraced life every step of the way from the time he was born, his life motto was live life as if its your last day because one day it will be.
Unfortunately for Our Jack that day arrived much too early and he was sadly taken from us. It comforts us to know that although he is no longer with us, his spirit remains free and in his own words when aged just five years, Jack is jumping from star to star like the wonderful wild and fearless young man he always will be.
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