WEEK 33, 2016
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 17
Learn of the death of Parramatta great, Ken Thornett. The first league book I ever read was ‘Tackling Rugby’ by Ken Thornett, detailing his career as a union player with Randwick and then Rosslyn Park (London), before his switch to league with Leeds in England, and then his return to Sydney to play for Parramatta, alongside his older brother, Dick. Ken was a safe, elegant fullback at a time when Australia produced many wonderful players in that position. Another boyhood hero of the time was little blonde haired, Les Johns from Newcastle, who became a Canterbury-Bankstown great. I loaned ‘Tackling Rugby’ to someone, and never got it back. It was a school prize for English.
Learn that ABC cricket commentator, Jim Maxwell felt unwell while on air, and was taken to hospital. I quite enjoy Jim’s cricket commentary, but when he did league he didn’t seem to have his heart in it.
Peter Sterling does a great interview with Parramatta coach, Brad Arthur on Foxsports.
It is 50 years ago today since the bridge over the Clarence River at Harwood in northern New South Wales was opened. Prior to the opening of the bridge, there were giant car ferries, and it was a great thrill for us, as kids, to be able to get out and wander around the deck as the crossing was made. Sometimes the queues to get on the ferry were enormous, and vendors would sell everything from ice creams to water melons to those waiting.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 18
Sirromet’s chief wine maker, Adam Chapman is guest speaker at Beer and Beef Club lunch at Pineapple Hotel today. I am the MC. Nice chat with Dan Hickey, whose nephew, Tom Hickey plays Australian rules for St Kilda. Dan’s brother, Mick was a fine first grade rugby league player with Valleys, Wynnum-Manly and Logan City.
Former Queensland Rugby League medico, Roy Saunders has donated his 2008 blazer to our QRL History Committee.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 20
Murwillumbah United Soccer Club hold a reunion today. I was invited – but unable to attend – given I played a couple of seasons, back in the early 1970s. I would play soccer on Saturday and league (for Brothers) on Sunday. My league coach told me to give up soccer, as I always turned up limping. Forty years ago today, United beat Saints in the grand final. (I didn’t play). The winning goal, a penalty, was kicked by Ross Conlon, who would switch to league soon after, and go on to play for Australia.
Watch Melbourne Storm (Foxsports) demolish Manly 38-18 at Brookvale with winger, Suliasi Vunivalu scoring four tries. I thought he was the victim of a blatant kneeing foul in the process of scoring one try, but nothing came of it! Our daughter watches Wallabies v All Blacks telecast in Hong Kong Football Club. Wallabies lose. ‘They were BAAAD’, Mel says.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 21
Marie and I have a lovely day trip to Brookfield in the forest areas to Brisbane’s west, stopping also at Gold Creek Dam. Lunch at Brookfield General Store, where we also buy bacon from Herbert River and biscuits (Jenny’s) from Thornlands. On the oval, near the store, they are tidying up after yesterday’s ‘Long lunch’, which featured a jazz band. Hear the old Delltones hit, ‘Hangin’ Five’ on the way home.
Photo: Ken Thornett