DIARY UPDATE: Week 44, 2015

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 27.

Drive to Toowoomba for the funeral of former Brisbane Valleys and Toowoomba Souths forward, Jeff Gill who played one match for Queensland in 1973. The legendary Marty Scanlan speaks on behalf of Valleys, and later, at the wake at Middle Ridge Golf Club, the big Valleys contingent sings the club song. I sit alongside Jeff’s great rival from Oakey, Peter Connell; former Valleys’ firebrand, John Payne and a Northern Territory official simply known as ‘Chook’. We are joined by multi-media personality, Steve Haddan, (who grew up in Toowoomba) and Graham Smith from Tenterfield. Terry Johnson, a former teammate of mine at Brisbane Brothers, says hello. He lives at Pottsville, but commutes to the Queensport pub in Brisbane for work. He had the ‘Middle Pub’ at Mullumbimby for 15 years.

Steve Calder

Steve Calder

On the way home I just keep one step ahead of savage storms which cause havoc at Rosewood and Fernvale.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 29

Terrible news today. Former Queensland Men of League chief executive, Steve Calder has passed away after a long battle with illness.  He had been in hospital, but reportedly was looking forward to being discharged tomorrow, but infection set-in. Steve played first grade rugby league for Canterbury-Bankstown and Brisbane Norths, and won the Rothmans Gold Medal as Brisbane’s Best and Fairest player in 1975. He knew he had limited time left, and commissioned me to write his life story, to leave for his grandkids. I was happy to do so, and one day those grand kids will look back with pride at the achievements of the former Dubbo State High footy star.

At Story Bridge Hotel, I MC Beer and Beef Club lunch, interviewing former police officer, Mick Cacciola, a ‘whistle blower’ during the days of rampant police corruption.

There is a farewell at Windsor International Motel for cleaner, Hazel, a lady who always has a smile on her face. I play ‘hooray for Hazel’ and ‘Oh Sweet Pea’ on Youtube at home tonight, two songs I loved as a teeny bopper.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 30

Queensland Rugby League general manager, Rob Moore tells our History Committee meeting we should not give up on a museum in Suncorp Stadium. French Rugby League has signed an agreement with the national government allowing it greater access to school sport. Very few favors are done for the 13 man code in France, thanks to union’s influence, and dare I say it, bigotry.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 31

To Food and Wine Show at South Bank. We have a Lockyer Valley burger on arrival, then to Little Creatures Bar. After that I play follow the leader with son, Lliam who takes me from one food/wine stand to another.

On our arrival back at Hermitage Gardens, there are kids running around everywhere in Halloween gear. I know I am a spoilsport, but I just can’t get excited about this northern hemisphere tradition. On a television news bulletin tonight, the female reader finishes with a big smile after confirming 200 people had died in a plane crash. I think the great James Dibble would have shown a bit more class during his time as ABC Television News front ‘person’.

Learn of the death of Greg Sutherland, a great worker for rugby league, first in Logan City and then in North and Central Queensland.

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 1 

My brother, Andrew and I walk from Grange to Lutwyche Cemetery to visit the graves of our great grandparents, on our father’s side. Also buried there is their daughter, Florence Emily Eberhardt. We have two beers at Edinburgh Castle Hotel across the road,while reflecting on family history.

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