Remembering John Clarke
4 October, 1932 – 14 August, 2005
I first met John Clarke when I attended my first astrology lesson given by Roy Knight in August 1974. It was John’s first lesson too. During the nine weeks course, John and I found we worked very well together, and one night discussed the need for a fully structured course in astrology for Sydney.
At that time there was nothing but the discussions held at the FAA and SARS meetings, and the occasional classes, mainly in chart calculation, such as the one we were attending. In 1975 Roy retired as president of SARS and John took over. Towards the end of that year we decided the need for formal classes was getting urgent, and the Sydney Astrology Centre was born. John, who was an advertising media manufacturer, immediately renovated part of his factory premises and we taught astrology there for the next four years. The Sydney Astrology Centre grew very quickly and by 1981 we had moved to larger premises and were also running day and night classes in locations all over Sydney.
By 1981 John was also ready to make astrology his main “job” and I was also ready to move on, so we ended our partnership, but I like to think that our partnership was significant in the development of astrology in this country. Even though a few years ago John changed the name of the school to The Australian Astrology Centre, it was such an institution that it was always known as the SAC. John continued to teach for the next 20 years as well as speak at conferences and write books.
He was passionate about astrology, and being a natural researcher, data was never far from his mind, no matter where he was. He wouldn’t hesitate to walk up to a perfect stranger who looked interesting and ask for his/her data. Being also very generous, he self published his books, and then promptly gave them away to anyone who was interested.
Sadly two years ago John was gripped by Alzheimer’s disease and spent the last few years of his life quietly and peacefully on the beautiful Central Coast north of Sydney. After a bad fall he contracted pneumonia and passed away in hospital in the early hours of the morning of August 14, 2005.
With his passing we have lost one of the great pioneers of Australian astrology. John Clarke will deservedly take his place in the history of Australian astrology. His enthusiasm and passion for astrology live on as a legacy in the hundreds of students who passed through the doors of the Sydney Astrology Centre over the years.