WEDNESDAY, APRIL 22.
Check-out of our Lennox Head accommodation. Highlights of our stay included a walk around Lake Ainsworth (the cup of tea lake, our kids called it); fish and chips from Bream Hole; dinner at WOK; and a couple of satisfying ocean swims. We head to Lismore, via Newrybar, where we have tea and scones at Harvest. Tonight I dine with Doug Kaden at the Rous Hotel, and we share yarns about our childhood, and our late fathers, who were such great mates. There are some real characters in the pub, which was once the haunt of my maternal grandfather, Charles Mortimer Kelly, and later my brother, Jeffery, when he played league for Marist Brothers. We are joined at the bar by Steve Bartlett, a legend in local footy circles, a former Sydney Easts’ player who starred for Kyogle in the Group 1 (Richmond) League. He played in the Group 1 rep side in 1974 in a famous win over Group 18, the hot favourites, with future NSW forward, Steve Hage at the forefront of a strong pack. Our barman, Darren Elmore is a brother of former Brisbane Valleys’ forward, Peter Elmore, who is now a prominent Brisbane school teacher.
THURSDAY, APRIL 23
Back to Brisbane via Bexhill Butchers, Bangalow (for coffee) and Tugun, for a surf. Lady at Bangalow cafe a bit rude. “That’s what I said”, she barks at me, when I ask if it is my flat white? I can’t help it if I am a deaf old bugger. Take a detour through Surfers Paradise to avoid M1 traffic chaos, after bloke attending to his motor bike on the side of the road, is hit by a car.
SATURDAY, APRIL 25
We attend ANZAC service at Windsor, followed by morning tea at old council chambers, where I catch up with ‘Uncle’ Joe Kirk, who gave the ‘welcome to country’. MP Grace Grace gave the ANZAC Address and did a good job. A moving service, although a couple of young females near us showed little respect, chatting and laughing.
Brothers forfeit their match against Deception Bay, with 24 players unavailable because of injuries, and a wedding. I am ‘Linked-in’ with former Redcliffe hooker, Danny Russell, who had a successful career with Huddersfield in England. My good mate at Taree, Brian Atherton, a former Widnes’ player, is enjoying retirement, as is his wife, Carole, who has just finished a long career in nursing and aged care. She has her reservations about the way nursing is going.