DIARY UPDATE: Week 28, 2016


Our daughter, Melanie dines with us, ahead of watching the third State of Origin match, from Sydney. New South Wales win 18-14, to send old warrior, Paul Gallen out a winner. But Queensland had clinched the series, with wins in the first two games. Melanie hopes to play netball in Hong Kong when she moves there for work reasons. My wife’s Irish nieces, Liana and Emma are in Lismore (New South Wales) with their mum, Kellie and their grandmother, Carolyn Soward. The Irish girls cheer for NSW and love Gallen. They went to Limerick in 2013, when the Kangaroos played Ireland, and ‘Gal’ was quite shocked to hear an Irish voice (Liana’s), from the grandstand, yell out his name, with great passion. Emma has been excelling in camogie, the female version of Hurling.

There has been a break-in at Brothers’ Leagues and 12 pokies are out of action.


Buy coffee beans at Q Roasters, Stafford instead of my ‘usual’ place, Elixer. The lady who serves me grew up in the Papua New Guinea Highlands and her parents are buried there.

Former NSW star, Geoff Toovey says the Blues’ management should have stopped players walking away during the trophy presentation speeches after Origin III. Couldn’t agree more, Geoff.


Tonight there is a farewell at Locos, Bowen Hills, for one of The Courier-Mail’s league writing staff, Chris Garry, who is to join Channel 7. I first met Chris at Ipswich, at a Gold Coast Titans’ training run. He was working for the Queensland Times, and certainly didn’t lack confidence. Marie and I head to Mantra Hotel, Casuarina on the Tweed Coast, for a few nights. In the early 1970s, when I was a member of Cabarita Surf Club, the Casuarina area was being sand mined and was ugly in the extreme. Tonight I enjoy a Mount Warning Pale Ale at Salt Bar.

Hear of a terrorist attack in Nice, France. A truck mows down people on the esplanade. Marie and I have stayed in Nice several times, the first occasion, November, 1977 on a Trafalgar Under-35 tour of Europe. I like the place, but Marie is not so enthusiastic.


Wake to journalist, Michael Ware talking about ISIS, in a television interview. He is the son of our former sports department PA, Gail Ware. Excellent lunch at ‘Paper Daisy’, Cabarita. Sit beside a German couple. She is a hypnotist, he is a chemistry lecturer. She is from the Ruhr and he is from Hamburg. They both had parents in the SS during World War II. Marie and I walk around Norries Head, where there is a large gathering, casting a loved one’s ashes to the elements. Then, across the road to Les Burger Field to watch part of a Northern Rivers Rugby League clash between Tweed Coast Raiders and Byron Bay. I knew Les. He was heavily involved with Souths at Murwillumbah, with the club relocating to Cabarita (Bogangar) when officials realised Murwillumbah couldn’t keep supporting three clubs. Les’s son, Ken was my captain in my first year in the Opens rugby league side at Murwillumbah High, in 1969. On our way to our accommodation we drive past the house where we had a number of family holidays in the 1980s. It was built by my good mate, Phil Batty back in 1972, and he kindly let Marie and I and the little kids stay there – for free – when we were battling to pay the bills. Today, there is a surf repair business conducted from the building. Not sure whether Phil still owns it.

I am Linked-In with the daughter of former Burleigh Bears star, ‘Graham Maund’, who I played against in the early 1970s.


A ‘LOVING LIFE’ conference is held at the Mantra. Donnelly family get-together at Tweed Heads goes well. Matt Pope, who is married to Marie’s niece, Sonia, tells me the Rappville Pub has shut. Rappville is a village on the main North Coast Rail Line. Back to Casuarina with our daughter, Melanie and we dine at Salt (Italian).

Photo: Phil Batty

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