MONDAY, JUNE 15
Hilarious segment on Matty Johns Show when Nathan Hindmarsh and Bryan Fletcher take Steve Menzies to Greater Western Sydney Aussie rules training. (Another former league international, Chris Johns describes Aussie rules as ‘pass the hankie’). Menzies is a surprisingly funny straight man, but I didn’t think he was the type to buy into this ‘low brow’ comedy.
Mate of mine, Jim House recalls that as ‘recently’ as the 1950s, blokes on horse back would pull up for a beer at the Alderley Arms Hotel in Brisbane’s inner north west. And there was an alderman from The Gap, who would ride his horse to town alongside cars and trams.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 17
I interview former Test referee and current Everton Park MP, Tim Mander at Men of League lunch at Broncos Leagues Club. Tim’s hero as a youngster was Wests’ forward, Richie Twist, who played two matches for Queensland in 1972. Doug Cory, a former Brisbane Souths’ player and prominent Surfers Paradise Life Saver, gives me a copy of his biography/family history, ‘The Crumbs That Fall from the Table’. Doug and his lovely wife, Joan went on my 1990 and ’94 Kangaroo Supporters’ tours to Europe, and were sensational company – witty, urbane and generous.
Watch State of Origin II tonight – from the MCG. A great game with New South Wales beating Queensland 26-18 to level the series. Blues’ centre, Michael Jennings is man of the match. Qld centre, Greg Inglis is denied a runaway try, against the run of play, because of a knock-on by Michael Morgan in the lead-up. Our grandson, Ethan, three months, watches in Maroon gear.
THURSDAY, JUNE 18
My wife, Marie, a rabid NSW fan, tipped the ‘The Courier-Mail’ headline would read: ‘Robbed’, and she was 100 percent correct. I go to Commissariat Store for a meeting with Royal Historical Society of Queensland president, Dean Prangley, who shows me around their museum, housed in the state’s oldest building. Meet several volunteers, among them Kay Cohen, a neighbor of former Brothers’ rugby league star, Wayne Abdy, who played three matches for Queensland between 1966 and ’68. On behalf of the QRL History Committee, I donate two photographs for the society’s proposed book, ‘Lost Brisbane 2’, due for release next year. One photo depicts teams lined up ahead of the Australia-France Test at the Gabba in 1955, a beautiful, full color shot, taken by Ray Thompson, who attended the Test with his family from the Burnett district town of Childers. The photo shows the line of fig trees on the terrace side of the ground. The Gabba is now just a ‘super bowl’, a stadium without character, that could be anywhere in the world. The other photo is from a club match between Brothers and Valleys at Lang Park in the late 1950s/early 1960s, and shows the old Police Youth Club in the background.
SATURDAY, JUNE 20
Intrust Super Cup match between Norths and Sunshine Coast at Bishop Park, Nundah, is abandoned after Coast forward, James Ackermann is critically injured in a tackle by Broncos’ contracted forward, Francis Molo.
In a BRL match, English halfback, Bobby Goulding Jnr. scores three tries for Sandgate. His dad, a former Great Britain halfback, has high hopes for the youngster, but he needs to be playing at a much higher level to attract NRL attention.
Learn of the death of former Australian Test forward, Paul Quinn, 77, a member of the marvellous 1963-64 Kangaroo touring side in England and France. Quinn played for Gerringong on the New South Wales South Coast, and then Newtown in Sydney.
SUNDAY, JUNE 21
Breakfast this morning with several mates at Carseldine. Most of the talk is about motor racing, which leaves me out in the cold. Derek Barea tells me all about one of his neighbours, Jim Bertram, an Australian motor racing legend, now in his 80s.
Wonderful news mid-morning. Our eldest boy, Damien and his wife, Emma (nee Parker) are expecting their first child, AND they have a contract for an apartment at Main Beach on the Gold Coast. It’s all happening.