DIARY OF A RETIRED RUGBY LEAGUE WRITER
WEEK 16 2017
TUESDAY, APRIL 18
Men of League Brisbane Committee meet at Ithaca Bowls Club, with the annual golf day the main agenda item. Committee member, former Valleys’ and Logan City prop, Bob Knight, arrives in his police uniform. Former Australian heavyweight boxing champ, Fred Casey is also a member. He tells the story of his grandson, a bouncer, ejecting a prominent Aussie rules’ player from Browns Plains Tavern a few years back. Former Brisbane Wests’ rugby league skipper, Bob Green is doing voluntary work for Ithaca Bowls, while former Australian halfback, Scott Prince is having coffee at nearby cafe. Learn of the passing of my wife, Marie’s former boss in Lismore, Jack Holmes, aged 97. Jack ran a grain wholesale business, and, at times, Marie was required to travel to the southern Darling Downs as part of her job in the accounts area.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 19
Marie and I drive to Binna Burra Lodge, in the Gold Coast hinterland, with our daughter, Melanie, for a spot of bush walking. There is a koala directly below our unit. Afternoon tea at the lodge is basic, and that is being kind.
It is 25 years to the day that my great aunt, Dorothy May Ricketts, died aged 82. She was better known as ‘Sister Dorrie’ an Australian Country and Western singer, and sidekick to the legendary, Tex Morton. Her brother, William, was my grandfather. They grew up in Warragul, Victoria.
THURSDAY, APRIL 20
Marie, Melanie and I walk Davies Creek Circuit, where fire has ravaged the heath land. A Kenmore High Group is also on the path. Lunch at the tea house is nice, although an irritating distraction is a group of young people, feeding the turkeys (against National Park rules) and laughing hysterically at the turkeys, as they gobble up the morsels. Great minds at work here. A park ranger ignores them. Come on mate. Do your job.
Rumor has it that News Ltd will sack 40 Brisbane based journalists.
FRIDAY, APRIL 21
Noted author, Hugh Lunn is a guest at our Queensland Rugby League History Committee meeting, which is also attended by QRL chairman, Bruce Hatcher and media chief, Michael Hillier. Hugh is to deliver the 2017 Ross Livermore Memorial Lecture, about ‘The Origin of the Origin’.
Next door, at Newstead Brewery, fight promoters, Dean Lonergan (an ex Kiwi rugby league rep) and Jim Banaghan (player manager to the stars) meet ahead of the Jeff Horn bout against Manny Pacquiao.
SUNDAY, APRIL 23
Macca (Ian McNamara on ABC Radio) calls rugby league a ‘tv show’, rather than a sport, given its reliance on video replays. ‘Macca’ grew up following rugby league, and yearns for the days of Australia v Great Britain Tests, playing to packed houses at the SCG and Lang Park.
Photo: The SCG – packed for an Australia v Great Britain clash in 1968