WEEK 32 2016
MONDAY, AUGUST 8
Our daughter, Melanie leaves for Hong Kong where she will take up an events management position. We get quite emotional, but Mel keeps it together, no doubt excited about the challenges ahead. Marie’s good friend, Margaret Heisner is on ‘duty’ at Brisbane airport as a volunteer greeter. Brunch at Shorncliffe (Cafe on the Park). Things are busy, because of the various EKKA (Brisbane Agriculture) Show holidays around the region. A plane flies over. Maybe it is Mel’s. Buy fresh whiting from Doug’s Seafood.
Mel texts on arrival in Hong Kong – so many people.
Learn of the death of Australian surf board riding legend, Midget Farrelly. He was the first surfer I remember reading about as a young bloke, and the first ever world champion. Learned to surf at North Bondi.
TUESDAY, AUGUST 9
Watch the Australian team win the Women’s Sevens Rugby title at the Olympics. Well done girls. Charlotte Caplick is a sensation. I understand her dad played rugby league for Wests in Brisbane. She was kicked in the head as she scored a try, but carried on regardless. Marie works at the Ekka today, as a volunteer in the ice cream stand. Tasks include strawberry chopping.
Melanie sends video of the views from her apartment in Hong Kong.
I am contacted, out of the blue, by John Crowley, a former policeman at Murwillumbah, and a front row forward in the Old Boys first grade side. Currently lives in the Illawarra region. John saw service in Cyprus as part of the United Nations Peace Keeping force. He introduced me to the great LP, ‘Hot August Night’, by Neil Diamond. Still have it, but there is damage from beer spills!
Steve Sheppard is appointed coach of Mackay Cutters for the Queeensland Rugby League’s statewide competition. Steve coached our eldest son, Damien at Burdekin Roosters (Ayr and Home Hill).
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 10
One of our neighbours, Sue Ellicott, says she is moving to the New South Wales Central Coast. Now 65, she has quit her job. She is sick of the Queensland heat, and wants to be closer to her parents, who live in Sydney. Her dad, Bob Ellicott QC., is her father. Her brother, John is a journalist.
Funeral notice for ‘Sandy’ Fraser from Southport, describes him as a ‘bonzer’ bloke. Great Aussie expression. Radio announcer says vacation today, instead of holiday. Please!
THURSDAY, AUGUST 11
Hermitage Gardens Body Corporate AGM tonight at Brothers Leagues. I speak up about landscaping issues and kids playing on our streets. Some people would like to employ a bare earth policy in our lovely, leafy estate. And as for kids playing on the road – there are parks all around us. Go figure. 80 percent of HG residents are owners, evidently. Whittles are sacked as our Body Corporate managers.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 12
Watch Broncos thrash Parramatta 38-16, with giant winger, Corey Oates scoring three tries. Hooker, Andrew McCullough is outstanding. Caught up with quite a few people at Suncorp Stadium, including former Broncos’ prop, Petero Civoniceva.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 13
Lunch at Plum Tucker, Red Hill (fritters/soup). Food a bit bland.
Our grand daughter, Parker, gets her first certificate for swimming.
My good mate, Trad McLean (Broncos media manager) attends Sydney Wests’ reunion with his dad, Mike (‘Dolly’), who played against me in the Group 3 League in 1975. Dolly was captain -coach of Port Macquarie Sharks and I was running around for Wingham Tigers. After a good win over Taree United and then a draw with eventual premiers, Wauchope, Wingham were on a high going into our match against Port. I had won two radio 2RE best player awards in a row and was feeling particularly confident. The cockiness was knocked out of me early, when I was concussed in a tackle. I saw out the game, but my memories of the day are fleeting, and probably just as well, because Port won easily. Dolly’s father, Peter was captain when Wests won their last Sydney premiership in 1952, the year of my birth. Trad and his dad catch up with the likes of Tom Raudonikis, Tim Pickup and Jason Stafford at the reunion. Tom and Tim were internationals, while Jason was a very good centre from Brisbane, whose dad, Merv, was a legend in radio\and advertising circles.
SUNDAY AUGUST 14
There is an Australia v Japan women’s hockey match on television. Brings back memories of the day a touring Japanese men’s hockey side played the Border Association at Murwillumbah – in 1969 or 1970 – and we were given time off from school to cheer the local lads. Japan won, from memory. To Bulimba and we walk trendy Oxford Street, running into former Brisbane Easts and Souths five eighth, Bob Hudson, who is having lunch with his wife. When he played for Halifax in England, Bob would drive long distances just to get a McDonalds fix. We have drinks at Oxford Tap.
Photo: Mike ‘Dolly’ McLean (right) and Tim Pickup