MONDAY, FEBRUARY 23
Watch South Sydney humble St Helens 39-0 in the World Club Challenge at Langtree Park. Sad really, to see such a one sided contest, given St Helens are one of the great clubs – either rugby code. They beat plenty of touring sides, back ‘in the day’.
At 10.45 a.m. pick-up English friends, Cliff and Jane Rodgers (Derbyshire) from Brisbane Airport. They know nothing about rugby league. Cliff is a fanatical cricket man, and also loves Derby County soccer. They have been in New Zealand on the first leg of a southern hemisphere trip. Lunch at Merthyr Bowls Club after we take the Rodgers on an introductory tour of the city. They stay at Grand Chancellor Hotel (their choice).
Our daughter-in-law, Channelle is not having a great stay at Mater Private as she expects first child. Mouldy carrots at dinner time, and then a Somalian man walks into her room looking to pee. And this is a private hospital!
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 25
Two-car prang at corner of Uxbridge Street and Day’s Road as I walk to newsagency. Police and fire brigade there. Suzanne (newsagency) says her family were friends with tennis great, Mal Anderson, who had tennis courts on the current site of the shopping centre. A plane flies really low over our place at 3.20 p.m., an oddity which is mentioned on Radio 4BC. Tonight we dine at Alliance Hotel, Spring Hill with the Rodgers, and mutual friends, Tony and Lyn Harris. Tony is a volunteer driver for an aged care facility, and loves the ‘job’.
Kel O’Shea Obituary, which I wrote, appears in The Courier-Mail today. Kel was one of Australia’s great rugby league forwards.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 26
Controversial former English Test referee, Robin Whitfield is to publish his autobiography – ‘Rebel With A Cause’. I have written a foreword for the book, given my dealings with Robin when he controlled big games here and in the UK. As a player, Robin was always in trouble with the refs. He had plans to settle in Brisbane, but his family last barely a month because of homesickness.
Today we take the Rodgers to Noosa, via morning tea at Dayboro; lunch at Mary Cairncross Park near Maleny; a shopping stop at Montville and a bush walk at Kondalilla National Park.
Dinner at Noosa Surf Club, then late night drinks at corner piano bar.
Learn of the death of Betty Bootle, Grange resident who was a much loved barmaid at Brothers Leagues Club’s Dairy Bar for many years. All the players were ‘her boys’ and never gave her any trouble.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 27
Catch the Noosa River Ferry to Noosaville for lunch at Gusto. Marie and I have eaten there before and the same lovely Irish waitress serves us this time. Eat in tonight.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 28
To Eumundi Markets where things are busy, as usual. Lots of childish people pose for photos in front of Dick Caplick Park sign, obscuring the letters Cap (Get it?). Dick was a World War 1 hero, who fought for the right for people to be so infantile. Then a bush drive to the Kandanga Pub, where there are some interesting rugby league team photos on the walls, from the days when every town or village had a team. Country and Western music wafts into the public bar from a shed across the road. Cliff and I adjourn to the surf club on our return to Noosa – to watch Australia v New Zealand cricket. Starc takes three wickets after we leave to keep us in the hunt, but we still lose to those Kiwis.
Cliff and I had been sitting at a table with a Kiwi and a Canadian, so there was little support for Australia. I think Cliff was going for the Kiwis as well.
SUNDAY, MARCH 1
Learn today of the death of Don ‘DOK’ Kaden, my late dad’s great mate. They worked together at grain and grocery warehouse, PDS, South Lismore; played rugby league together for Souths; enjoyed a beer and a game of darts at the Winsome Hotel (now a soup kitchen), and went shooting in the bush near Whiporie. DOK’S wife, Clarice and my mum got along famously as well, and us kids were good mates, with the two Kaden boys, Doug and ‘Johnny boy’.
See a dad and his two daughters in Clean Up Australia gear, doing their thing at Noosa. Do people drop rubbish here?