DIARY ENTRY: Week 6, 2015


Watch build-up to Super Bowl. Pop singer ruins anthem. So Australia is not the only country where that happens.


Walk to Keith Payne Park, Stafford, named after Vietnam War hero. The lawn area is a disgrace, and not befitting the brave men honoured on the wall of honour – VC winners from all our campaigns, except Afghanistan. Tonight I watch TV specials on Berlin, Post World War II, and Abba, their really early days. Marie orders lovely balsamic vinegar from Yass before heading to Lismore to catch up with family, via a swim at Rainbow Bay, and fish and chips at Chinderah.


Witness bike path rage today with walker chastising cyclist for not ringing his bell. “How many times do you want to hear it, dickhead,” says the cyclist as he disappears into the distance. I walk around New Farm this afternoon and bump into former Courier-Mail colleague, Andrew Dawson, who now works at Quest Newspapers. The grandson of former Valleys’ rugby  league president, Tom Dooley cycles by as I chat to ‘Dawso’. Dinner (duck tacos) at Newstead Brewery. Cabbie home is from Afghanistan (via Malaysia). A nice bloke and a good driver.

Learn today of the death of former Best Bets editor, Peter Lucas (a real character going by his radio guest spots) and actor, Norman Yemm (from Homicide television series).


Get up early to watch Super League season opener between Widnes and Wigan, a real thriller, finishing in a draw, even though Widnes (my team) had winger, Patrick Ah Van sent off early. It was an encouraging start to the season for Widnes coach, Denis Betts, the former Wigan and Auckland Warriors star who was keen to get Widnes fans ‘on-side’. Also watch a little of rugby union match between Toulon (France) and Sharks (South Africa).

Southport Tigers Rugby League celebrate their 50th anniversary this year. I played against them in under-18s and first grade in the period 1968-74 when they were known as Gold Coast Tigers. Future international, Steve Rogers  played in their 1972 premiership winning side. Another Tigers product was controversial businessman/politician, Clive Palmer, who was a lightning fast winger – believe it not.


Watch Catalans v St Helens Super League clash – a game that goes forever because of injuries. Former Australian Test centre, Willie Tonga (Catalans) is knocked out making the first tackle of the game.

Marie and I drive to Mount Mee. Afternoon tea at Birches disappointing – a tea bag, not leaf tea! Tail gated down the mountain by girl in a ute. Watch Charity Shield tonight with Souths retaining the trophy courtesy of drawn result.

Learn of the death of Graham Herring, former Canterbury-Bankstown forward who was captain-coach of Forster-Tuncurry in 1975, the year I played in the same competition with Wingham Tigers.


4 responses to “DIARY ENTRY: Week 6, 2015

  1. Steve, How are you? Good to get your email as when I got here I realised I didn’t have any email address for the members of the history committer on my hotmail, so am glad to get your email. I am home next week anyway, but basically these are he highlights of my trip. – attended all three WCC matches as a guest of “Forty twenty” magazine, which included media passes for all three games. – Gave a presentation to the Leeds Heritage and Veterans club on “NQ and the Cowboys, a Rugby League Heartland” on the 17th Feb. There were about 70 people there. I was introduced as a member of the QRL history committee first and Cowboys historian second. I also spoke about the committee and gave you all a mention. The comments I received were how good it is that we have such an organisation in place. The guys from Huddersfield Uni who started the Rugby League oral history museum were alo there and i had a great chat to the after. -Met up with St Helens historian Alex Service before the St Helens- Roosters game. -Attended Wayne Bennett interview with English press re coaching England . That was a unique experience, he was brilliant -Attended Golden Boot dinner as a guest of Leeds Rhinos and they sat me at a table full of local historians. -Spent a morning interviewing Harry Jepson OBE re his relationship with the QRL and his time in the game. This was no doubt the highlight of my trip! I will make it available for anyone who wants it, just gold. -Caught up with Cowboys later in week, attending a closed training run at Headingly. I obviously supported them in the big game, but i wasn’t really involved with them apart from the one training run and catching up with a few of them at the Golden Boot dinner. Johnathan Thurston was a great ambassador , they gave him a standing ovation as he walked in to the dinner.

    My impression of the game in the Uk this time is it has changed from 4 years ago. I think they need less club games in a season and more intense games. It was quite obvious that when a ball is spilled or a mistake made the NRL sides are so quick to capitalise. I thought Leeds tried their best, missing almost half of their 2015 grand final squad, but even if they had the same team, the difference in intensity was there to see. My impression of the other games is St Helens tried hard but were just outclassed, and the Wigan-Bronco’s game was strange. I honestly don’t think Wigan cared after they lost their hooker to injury.The talk in the press area was that Wigan just went through the motions and the Broncos had a field day. People started walking out 10 minutes to go- the famous “Wigan walk” as one media bloke called it. That was disappointing but the Broncos were very good, scary given how many young players they had on the field. I have also had a few days in Berlin, saw snow fall for the first time( well it kind of snowed in Toowoomba once but not like this). I leave 4pm Friday. Could you please pass this onto to the rest of the committee if you think it is worthwhile. I will also do up a bit of a report for the next QRL History committee meeting

    Date: Wed, 24 Feb 2016 02:00:00 +0000 To: gshannarra11@hotmail.com

  2. Sorry mate pressed wrong button and sent before finishing. I didn’t end up catching up with Garth Budge, as he has advanced dementia. Anyway, see you all at the next meeting Greg

    Date: Wed, 24 Feb 2016 02:00:00 +0000 To: gshannarra11@hotmail.com

  3. Dear Stephen, not sure if you will be able to view this or if others will be able to, doesn’t matter no top secrets will be revealed. Off to Cambodia on Monday via Saigon on Sunday. Have watched some rl the all stars match and a super league match. Great news for rl in Brisbane. The new boss at Iona Father Michael Twigg sent an e-mail out that Rugby League is back. He is a Wynnum /Hemmant boy and a Seagulls tragic. He has kept tabs on them despite decades of being in Melbourne and Perth. He quite rightly pointed out to any who may object that 80% of the AIC schools we compete against are already competing in the Confraternity Shield and so now Iona will be. Went for a bike ride today , borrowed a great Aussie bloke who has lived here for 10 years, Martin Mackay is his name and he is from Batemans Bay,played 3rd grade for Wests out of Lidcome and he is 65. He did mention some names that you’d know, but Ill have to ask him again. Hope all is well keep up the diary entries and love to all.

    Andrew of Vung Tau


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