WEEK 2 2016
MONDAY, JANUARY 11
Our sister-in-law, Beth Donnelly has dinner with us at our Grange residence. Marie’s brother, Kevin, is a house painter, and has been painting National Parks and Wildlife Service buildings in recent times.
Learn that former Broncos and Canterbury-Bankstown utility player, David Stagg has been appointed football operations manager at Aspley. Commentator, Andy Raymond celebrates 19 years at Foxsports.
Two French girls in our town house complex advertise that they are keen to mind kids. “We are funny. We love childs.” they write on notice board.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 12.
Radio TAB sports crew talk about a big miss in the NFL yesterday. I text re Don Fox and his miss in the Challenge Cup rugby league final at Wembley in 1968. Wakefield Trinity’s Fox missed with a conversion shot from in front of the posts after the fulltime hooter, with Leeds winning 11-10. It is probably accurate to surmise that Fox slipped on the saturated surface as he delivered the kick.
Our family doctor, Desmond Dann has been 52 years with the Australian Medical Association and is now a Life Member, and rightly so. His dad was a Yorkshireman, from Harrogate, and a rugby league man as well. Former St George (Sydney) and Warrington (England) fullback, Brian Johnson has passed away, aged just 59. Alzheimers!
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 13
Lunch with my Murwillumbah mate, Tom Tartan at Brookside Tavern. Ex-Brothers Leagues club barmaid, Jesse, is behind the bar. Tom’s son, Anthony is ski-ing in Japan. Daughter, Stephanie is an architect for Moreton Bay Regional Council. Walk back to Grange along Kedron Brook and have a couple of ales with Peter Skerman and Keith Rooney, the latter a former member of a Victorian band called the Bluestones – a name derived from Pentridge Jail.
Our eldest boy, Damien takes German friends to Main Beach Surf club for dinner. They met in Chile. The Germans are journalists, she politics, him sport. He loves Tooheys Old and Big Bash Cricket. Damien is impressed with the ability of South Sydney coaching staff member, Ben Gardiner, who he has met through Beenleigh High’s ‘affiliation’ with the Rabbitohs.
Fellow History Committee member, John McCoy attends the funeral of former Wallaby, Mick Purcell, who toured the British Isles in 1966. He played three Tests, his debut a win over Wales at Cardiff Arms Park. Judy Gibson, the widow of late ‘Super Coach’, Jack Gibson, has died. I was covering the Centenary Rugby League Test (between Australia and New Zealand) at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 2008 when word came through that Jack had died.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 15
Surf at Rainbow Bay on the Gold Coast, where former Sydney Wests’ rugby league skipper and ABC radio/television commentator, Warren Boland is enjoying the waters. A young lad near us beautifully rides a wave, and is so proud. lunch at Greenmount Surf Club where I chat to former Manly-Warringah winger, Michael ‘Dolly’ McLean, a regular. He is the dad of Broncos’ media manager, Trad McLean. I played against ‘Dolly’ when he was captain-coach of Port Macquarie Sharks in 1975 and I was contracted to Wingham Tigers.
Spend the night at my brother, Jeffery’s place at South Tweed Heads, with his wife Ann (nee Murphy) preparing a beautiful ‘rustic chicken’ dish. Jeff and I watch the last 40 minutes of ‘Rob Roy’ and then three different versions of our favorite Dubliners’ song, ‘Rare Old Times’. Jeff tells me he was bitten by a snake when a pupil at Mt St Patrick’s, Murwillumbah. I never knew. He walked to local doctor, Peter Stanton-Cook for treatment. Now they probably would bring in the Westpac Helicopter!
SUNDAY, JANUARY 17
Back in Brisbane, Marie and I walk Whites Hill Reserve. There is a huge (dead) carpet snake near the reservoir. I think someone killed it, which is horrible. To ‘Shady Palms’, Stones Corner for a drink. Not enough shade. Barmaid calls everyone ‘darlin’. Old blokes can’t get away with that. Lots of empty shops at Stones Corner, largely because the once vibrant rag trade has been hit hard by Direct Factory Outlets.
New Queensland State of Origin coach, Kevin Walters makes sweeping changes to his support staff. Fair enough. He has to make his own mark on this toughest of sporting arenas.