DIARY UPDATE: Week 1, 2016



Watch part of San Francisco 49ers v St Louis NFL match from the US. Jarryd Hayne gets only one minute of field time. The 49ers win, thanks to an extra time field goal by 40-year-old Phil Dawson.

To Lutwyche where Broncos’ Kiwi Test forward, Adam Blair is shopping at Coles. My wife does not have a high opinion of the fruit and vegies here.

Learn of the death of much loved baker, Max Loweke at Seymour in Victoria, the vehicle he is driving washed away in a flash flood. It has to be Max Loweke, my former schoolmate at Mt St Pats., Murwillumbah, a delightful bloke with a gentle nature. He lost a sister to a road accident at Murwillumbah, when he was still at primary school. I stayed at the Loweke household after Brothers’ rugby league banquet (trophy night) at St Pat’s Hall in 1968. I had just turned 16, and it was the first time I got drunk. The next morning the hangover was such, I didn’t drink again until I turned legal drinking age of 18.


Drinks today with two of my brothers, Jeffery and Andrew, and brother-in-law, David Lynch at Fox Pub (formerly the ‘Terminus’), South Brisbane. A former publican was Test rugby league winger, Pat ‘Cocky’ McMahon, who wouldn’t recognise the joint now.

Radio 4TAB commentator, John McCoy makes a good point today about West Indian cricketer, Chris Gayle’s sexist comments to on-ground reporter, Mel McLaughlin. The former players in the commentary box had a good laugh, for a while, before realising that perhaps  Gayle’s comments had gone over like a lead balloon with many viewers. McCoy said the former cricketers’ lack of media training was obvious.


Watch movie, ‘Suffragette’. Very good. Only six other people in the cinema.

To Brothers’ club in the afternoon for Steve Carter’s wake. ‘The Courier-Mail’ published a story I had written about Steve. The former Queensland, Brisbane Wests, Brothers, St George (Sydney) and Townsville forward, died on December 25. Former Test centre, Tony Currie and former Canterbury (Sydney), and Wests’ (Brisbane) forward, Ron Raper and Ron’s son, Steve, a Federal police officer, are the first people I chat to. Tony says he gave Carter the nickname ‘snake’. Prominent Townsville league identity, Adrian ‘Happy’ Thompson flew down for the funeral. Steve won four Townsville premierships with Brothers.


Drive to Mt Alford Winery, via Boonah Market, where my Roosters’ polo shirt draws a few negative comments. Busy at the winery’s restaurant, including a group celebrating an 80th. An Asian lady asks: “Where are the kangaroos?”. We are warmly greeted by manager, Doogan O’Hanlon. Waitresses, from nearby Kalbar, are friendly.

New South Wales Leagues Club ceases trading today. I went there many times, for press conferences, judiciary hearings and functions.


At Newmarket pub in Brisbane I put money on the bar so our eldest boy, Damien can ‘wet the head’ of his beautiful daughter, Parker Kerri, born on December 27. Our youngest boy, Lliam and a number of Damien’s mates, including Chris Watts, Anthony Burke, Ben Morgan, Paul Ferrier and Blake Loudon, are also in attendance.

Indian cabbie on the way home wants to use his mobile. I tell him ‘no’, in no uncertain times. I mean, really?

Learn that Hawick (Scotland) Knitwear has gone into administration. Another blow for this lovely Borders’ town, where we have had some wonderful times.

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Brothers Damien (left) and Lliam Ricketts.

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