TUESDAY, JUNE 9
Chairman of Queensland Rugby League History Committee, Kevin Brasch scores a AM in Queen’s Honours, for his services to the code and education. He is interviewed on Channel 9, while his daughter, Coby, a barrister, is on Channel 10 as part of the sleep-out for the homeless. Kevin’s wife, Tilly also is a great achiever, having written several books, one about their late son, Riley, who suffered from mental illness.
At Brothers’ club, ‘table of knowledge’ members swap yarns about cruises. Jim House went on the QEII in the 1990s, when he met the great horse trainer, T J Smith.
Watch ‘The Killing Season’ on ABC about the ‘rivalry’ between former Prime Ministers, Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard. Our Kevin doesn’t come out of it too well, but ABC still praises the ALP for their efforts in Government. Hello!!
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 10
See ‘Woman in Gold’ at Cinema. Very good. Have to admit to shedding a tear.
Peter Sterling interviews his former Australian and New South Wales’ teammate, Steve ‘Blocker’ Roach on FoxSports. Really good stuff. ‘Blocker’ and I had one or two disagreements over the years, but get along fine now. He did not appreciate my questioning him about coach, Jack Gibson’s decision to bench him, after he gave away a penalty while in possession for New South Wales in a State of Origin match in Sydney in 1989.
My French mate, Laurent Garnier says he is not bitter over his sacking by Carcassonne Rugby League.
THURSDAY, JUNE 11
Write obituary on former Australian selector, Dan Tanner, a Bundaberg legend, who was part of the national panel in the late 1960s early 1970s. Learned gentlemen at the club tell me that several scenes from the 1969 movie, ‘Age of Consent’, were filmed at Albion Park Paceway and the National Hotel in Brisbane. The movie starred Helen Mirren and James Mason.
FRIDAY, JUNE 12.
To Brunswick Heads in northern New South Wales. Stop first at New Brighton, where I had a wonderful holiday as a child, staying in a cabin, which has since been swallowed by the sea. Surfing and table tennis were the main pursuits. Had a go at fishing, only to get a hook through the thumb, requiring a good Samaritan to row me across the Brunswick River to a waiting ambulance for a trip to Mullumbimby, where a doctor removed the hook. Last time I went fishing. In the late 1960s, early 1970s, New Brighton was the ‘office’ for Murwillumbah based Country Party leader, Doug Anthony, who became acting Prime Minister at Christmas, and received daily updates, via a local public telephone box. Doug and his family stayed in a caravan. True story. Life was so uncomplicated then. After booking into our motel, we have two drinks at the pub next door, and then eat at ‘Homemade Pasta’. Very good. The dog next to us so well behaved, I don’t mind his presence. Back to pub to watch South Sydney thrash Wests Tigers in the NRL.
SATURDAY, JUNE 13
To Mullumbimby and excellent coffee and croissant at a little laneway cafe. Lots or organic food outlets in the town, and we buy rhubarb, avocados, bananas and garlic. Drive to Main Arm, and then back to Mullum, for lunch on the Brunswick River. We had wanted to walk at Wanganui Gorge, but the walking track is closed. We pass Alidenes Road, named after a family of Italian heritage. Greg Alidenes was a fine hooker for the Mullumbimby Giants rugby league side, back in my playing days.
Back at Brunswick Heads, we adjourn to the pub for the Warriors v Roosters match. Sit beside Glenn Smith, a mad Roosters’ man. A house painter, he works for former Gold Coast Seagulls/Giants forward, Tony Durheim. Glenn texts the final score – 25-21 in favor of the Roosters – as Marie and I dine at slightly pretentious ‘Fleet’ Restaurant. Our (Kiwi) waiter looks like Peter MacDougall from ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ (Robert’s brother-in-law). Glenn not only supports the Chooks, he gets behind local rugby league, and fondly remembers Mullumbimby’s win over Ballina in the 2004 grand final. Learn of the death of David Barnhill Snr, former boss of the New South Wales Country Rugby League. I had many dealings with him, particularly during the Super League ‘War’ – 1995-97 – when he was fighting to have the CRL stay loyal to the ARL.
SUNDAY, JUNE 14
Breakfast at excellent Jetty Cafe. Back to Brisbane via Tweed Valley village, Uki, where hippies are having a sing-a-long. Next stop, the Tweed Art Gallery. The re-creation of renowned artist, Margaret Olley’s Sydney terrace house is splendid. My dad spent a big part of his childhood at Lismore Heights, where the Olley family had a property. Dad’s mum used to borrow horses from the Olleys, to ride the local hills. I see so many familiar names on the Gallery donors’ board, among them Budd, Stainlay, Withey, Marks and Grogan, the latter my childhood dentist. The gallery theme today is ‘Travels with my Art’, featuring Olley and Moya Dyring. There are great works at the gallery, but nothing beats the view (through a window) towards ‘the weir’, on the Tweed River at Bray Park, where I grew up, and swam many times. A big part of the view is the McDonald family dairy (Jerseys) farm. We meet up with our eldest son, Damien at Southport Surf Club. Maori entertainer very good. Maori have always been a big part of the Gold Coast entertainment scene.