MONDAY, JANUARY 26.
Marie makes scones instead of damper for Australia Day.
George Anderson, a former photographer at The Daily News, Murwillumbah, is mentioned in the Australia Day honours. Chris Stomou, whose dad ‘Mr (Bill) Stomou’, ran a fish and chip shop (Bill’s Friendley Snackl Bar) in Mur-bah, is an Australia Day ambassador. Five cents for all the chips you could eat at Stomous shop, opposite the Regent Picture Theatre. As a young bachelor I rented a flat from Mr Stomou in the early 1970s, and I have to admit, I wasn’t a very good tenant.
Junior league fields at Taree are named after one of the town’s favourite sons, Danny Buderus.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 27
To Palace Centro to see ‘Mr Turner’ (the English artist), but a bit slow, a bit long.
Later I have a long chat to noted author, William McInnes about rugby league. He is to be guest speaker at forthcoming Men of League lunch. Brought up at Redcliffe he especially remembers Dolphins’ legends such as Bevan Bleakley, Ian ‘Bunny’ Pearce and Peter Leis.
My former Courier-Mail colleague, Christine Jackman is on 4BC relating nightmare time she had in a Wilson’s Car Park in Brisbane City, and the (alleged) ineptitude of the staff. I avoid multi level car parks like the plague.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 29
Kevin Brasch tells me fellow Brisbane Norths’ Rugby League stalwart, Keith Woodhead has died from motor neuron disease. Keith was Norths’ doctor when I played for the Devils in 1979 and stitched me up (literally) after I copped a Bob Arnold elbow to the head in a reserve grade match against Easts at Langlands Park. (I went too high). He was also medical officer for the Queensland Residents tour of France in 1989, which I covered for The Courier-Mail. It was a relatively injury free tour, although there were a few head wounds to attend to after a match in Perpignan against the wild men from Catalonia. Keith was Queensland State of Origin doctor from the late 1980s until he was succeeded by current doctor, Roy Saunders from Ipswich in 1993.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 30
Sorry to be morbid, but today I attend the funeral of John Davis, who was a member of my 1998 rugby league supporters’ tour to Britain and Europe. I think John was a bit sceptical about my abilities as a tour guide prior to the trip and peppered me with questions. But he proved an admirable tourist and I know he and his wife, Robyn had a good time. John was a good boxer in his boyhood days.
Dinner tonight at our daughter, Melanie’s Valley apartment after drinks at excellent Newstead Brewery.
Joe McDermott (QRL) contacts me (at the request of Qld coach, Mal Meninga) wanting motivational newspaper clippings for the Origin team’s meeting rooms and dressing sheds -articles where NSW bag the Maroons. It is the oldest trick in the book. Australian coach, Wayne Bennett had me looking for negative articles in the British press in the build-up to the Tri-Nations final against the Poms in Leeds in 2004. Wayne using the media to his advantage? No!!!
Our youngest son, Lliam’s company, Supply Partners, wins contract to install LED floodlights at home of Nambour Toads rugby union side at Woombye.
SATURDAY, January 31
Host Lliam and Damien and some of their mates for a bbq and a bit of TV footy (the Nines from Auckland). Lliam then heads to Gold Coast for a bucks party and is caught in a vicious hail storm.
In England the famous West Bank club from Widnes beats South West London 14-10 in the rugby league Challenge Cup. So what, you might ask? But to me it illustrates the growth of the code in the south of England. West Bank has produced many champions for Widnes, and when I lived there in the 1970s I’m sure the club on the banks of the Mersey would have expected to a beat a mob of London amateurs by a lot more than four.
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 1
Watch the Nines from Auckland and most impressed with women’s games. The blokes could learn a few things from the ladies about passing skills.
Brisbane’s Irish Club enters voluntary administration. Very sad. My late sister, Kerri-Ann was a member.