DIARY UPDATE: Week 34, 2015


During my walk to the newsagent I see a little boy point to an ibis, and then ask his dad if it’s an emu? Sensational.

MC Men of League lunch at Broncos, interviewing former Broncos’ Test centre, Chris Johns, who is entertaining, relating on-field and off-field yarns. We also show DVD of 1963-64 Kangaroo tour of Britain and France, taken from John Cleary’s home movies. Some of the action from the match against France in Bordeaux is helter skelter, with the home side completely devoid of pattern and structure. That is not a criticism, especially as France won 8-5. Former Australian forward, John Payne, a teammate of mine at Brisbane Norths in 1979, gives me a playful punch to the kidneys. Doesn’t know his own strength, John. He playfully head butted me in the showers after one Norths’ training run. John also gave me the nickname ‘fish’, because of the way I breathed while exerting myself at training.

Earlier in the day, with the help of our daughter, Melanie, I get a new phone at a Telstra shop in the city. The sales person (female) wants me to sign with the mouse. I decline, because I don’t know how. “Welcome to 2015”, she says. I’m still living in the 1970s.


I am voted out as secretary of Hermitage Gardens Body Corporate in a night of the long knives at Brothers/Bandits club. Long serving chairman, Brian Flaherty also goes, replaced by Glenn Ellis. My replacement is Carole Jorgensen. Look, I was happy to serve as secretary, but I am even happier to hand over the role to someone who really wants it. I took on the job as a favor to former property managers, Ron and Annie McIntosh. I wish the new committee well, and hope they can do something about roaming pets, such as the Siamese cat I helped rescue from a neighbour’s  roof. It is a notorious wanderer, and God knows how many native animals have died as a result of its owners’ indifference.

Men of League charity members take former Queensland winger, Fonda Metassa to the Embassador Hotel (in Brisbane city) for dinner. Fonda is doing it tough, health wise.

Our daughter, Melanie talks to Queensland Treasurer, Curtis Pitt about the economy. Melanie works for an arm of Treasury, and is one smart girl. I hope Curtis learned something. Lliam, our youngest son, is hoping his company, Supply Partners, can do business with Burleigh Bears Rugby League, re the installation of LED lighting.


I MC Men of League lunch at Gatton Golf Club, interviewing former Test forward, David Wright and former Sydney Wests’ skipper, Warren Boland. Catch up with my late father’s former Shell Oil Company workmate, John O’Brien, 79, a noted car dealer in the Lockyer Valley. Dad and ‘Johnny’ infamously drove the wrong way down a one way street at South Brisbane back in the 1960s when they were training for their Shell posts. The police officer let them off because they were boys from the bush.


Brothers thrash Arana Hills in a Second Division rugby league match at Gibson Park, Stafford to win the Downs Syndrome Cup. Former Norths and Valleys’ utility star, Ziggy Strasser’s son scores a try for Brothers. Ziggy is  there watching the match along with Broncos’ prop, Josh McGuire. There have been a number of forfeits in Second Division today, something of concern to administrators.


‘It’s a Girl’ is emblazoned on the wall of the baby room at our eldest son, Damien and his wife, Emma’s Main Beach apartment. Scan pictures are amazing, with baby due in December.

New Mount Warning Hotel at Uki in the Tweed Valley has opened after the old building was destroyed by fire. The publican is Geoff Brown, a bloke I played a lot cricket against, and some rugby league. He was a lethal fast bowler for South Arm, and a solid league forward for Brothers and Souths. He was the licensee when the historic old building was destroyed. I rarely drank there, because I played cricket for Tumbulgum, so if I was to have an ale at a country pub it was at the riverside village of Tumbulgum. The Uki pub was known as a Murwillumbah Souths’ rugby league stronghold, and a haunt of the Harding brothers, giant men from the hills who loved their league, tug-of-war and terrorising ‘ferals’.

Steve Ricketts with John O'Brien

Steve Ricketts and John O’Brien at Gatton Golf Club Men of League lunch.

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