DIARY UPDATE: Week 36, 2016

WEEK 36, 2016


‘OLD Farts’ (journalists) get-together at Jubilee Hotel in Fortitude Valley. Great to catch up with former workmates, including Mike Holliday, Wayne Watson, Bruce Pickford (A Kiwi who undertook an eventful yacht trip in the 1970s), Col Wood, Barry Dick and Steve Waddingham, the latter just back from a European journey, a trip he undertook after being told he had terminal cancer. Some great yarns are told, including several about former ‘Telegraph’ political writer, Ian Miller. Learn that legendary journalist, Dixon Falconer (a former workmate) covered the ‘Little Boy Lost’ story at Guyra, back in 1960. Steven Walls, 4, went missing in the bush and there seemed little hope of finding him alive, but the story had a happy ending. The successful search was immortalised in a song by Johnny Ashcroft.


My 64th birthday. Celebrate at Sichuan Bang Bang at Wilston. Very good, and busy. Other eateries virtually empty.


Drinks with Murwillumbah schoolmate, Tom Tartan, at Brothers Leagues. Tom’s daughter, Geraldine has been working as a sets buyer for the arts department of the ‘Thor’ movie. Bar staff have an ‘off night’ – grumpy, wrong drinks, no ice, no light beer. One barman goes into the ladies toilet, by mistake. And he has worked at the club for some time. Brothers’ website says poker machine income is dropping 10 percent a year.


Drinks before the Broncos v Titans elimination final, with Merv and Margaret Heisner, at Stattler and Waldorf in Caxton St. My wife gets the TV changed from the AFL to under-20s rugby league final. Well done. I mean, how stupid! You have league people everywhere and the TV shows AFL (aka cross country netball). Broncos win 44-28 in front of a crowd of 43,170.


Lunch at Crosstown Pub, Gabba. Ordinary. The whole area looks depressed. Home via Sam’s Seafood at Portside. Lots of wild caught product. Learn of the death of Ted Krause, 91, one of my father, Jon’s former workmates at the Shell Oil Company. Also, Sharon Young, wife of former Test prop, Craig, has died, aged just 57 – cervical cancer.

Former Wallaby, Tim Horan bags league, yet again. “I didn’t see league or the A league at the Olympics,” he says on Radio Triple M. It’s almost as if league has to say sorry, to the likes of Horan, for being so popular in this little outpost of Queensland. It’s only a little ‘North of England game’, but it still manages to get up the nose of so many people, usually snobs.


Tragedy in my home town, Murwillumbah with the death of Grant Cook, playing rugby league for the Mustangs against Casino in a semi-final. It bought back memories of a match I played for Murwillumbah Brothers against Wests Lismore, at Alstonville Showgrounds, in 1971. A rival player collapsed and died afterwards. An inquest found he had been hurt in an off-field incident, some time earlier, and it only needed a bump in the right place to set off a blood clot, or something similar.

Big crowd at Emerson Park, Grange for a day of rugby league. Former Australian rep., Ben Ikin is there to watch Wests’ under-13s, a side which include’s his former Broncos’ teammate, Phil Lee’s son. Dual rugby international, Brad Thorn stands out in the crowd. He IS tall. Our eldest lad, Damien is there to watch Beenleigh Lions play Wests. The Lions go down, but they are brave. Damo, who teaches at Beenleigh High, says hello to kids and parents, and they are happy to see him. I introduce Damo to former international forward, John Payne (who is doing it tough with Parkinson’s); former Brothers’ prop, Peter Anderson (who coaches Wests under-16s). ‘Ando’, who had a stint with Hull KR in England, tips The Associated Schools (private schools) to play league, as well as union in the next few years.

At Grafton, South beat Ghosts 26-12 in the Group 2 grand final. What a derby.

Former ABC commentator, Norman May (Stormin’ Norman) has died aged 88. He covered league, but was best known for his swimming calls.

Photo: Peter Anderson playing for Brothers.

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