DIARY OF A RETIRED RUGBY LEAGUE WRITER
WEEK 2 2018
MONDAY, JANUARY 8
Rousing scenes from the Australian dressing room as our boys celebrate their win in the Fifth Test against England, to wrap up the Ashes cricket series 4-0. I’m sure some wowsers would object to what was shown.
A former resident of Monto, in the Central Burnett, tells me there are only three dairy farms left in the district. There used to be hundreds. But they still conduct a successful dairy festival.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 10
Marie and I surf at Main Beach. See radio commentator, Ray Hadley on the walk back from the beach, to our son, Damien’s apartment. Ray has an apartment at Main Beach. Marie and I take our grand daughter, Parker to playground on McIntosh Island, where she befriends a little girl, whose parents have moved from Adelaide to the Coast. The little girl’s tattooed mum wears a Sea Shepherd shirt, while the father’s shirt has the slogan: ‘There is no humane meat”. Just as well I wasn’t wearing my ‘Eat Meat, You Bastards’ T-shirt.
Great music on 4KQ – Canned Heat, The Turtles, Railroad Gin, Steppenwolf.
Papua New Guinea Test rugby league star, Kato Ottio has died of heat stroke, while training ahead of his move to England to play for Cheshire club, Widnes.
Hard to believe it is 10 years since my former Murwillumbah Brothers’ captain-coach, Jack Nardi died, at Byron Bay. One of the all-time great blokes, and a fine footballer. Jack’s son, Todd is deputy national news editor of SKY News.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 12
Movie ‘The Post’ is excellent. (Marie and I watched it at ‘The Barracks). I get emotional, thinking about the good old newspaper days – hot metal etc. An old bloke at the Barracks Cinema precinct, wears a ‘Welcome Refugees’ t-shirt. Dinner at Gambaro’s, where there is a $55 lobster special. It is just OK.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 13
Two restaurants shut at The Barracks, and this is big news in The Courier-Mail. When I tipped off a Courier columnist about similar closures, some time back, at the same complex, it warranted only a small column piece, even though some employees were treated badly.
Watch old Broncos v Canberra Raiders match on FoxSports. Broncos’ centre, Chris Johns beats Mal Meninga to set up a try for Kev Walters.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 14
Snow falls in Tasmania; record hot nights in western Queensland. My former Courier-Mail colleague, Robyn Ironside reads ABC news and does well, which is more than can be said for many newsreaders. Cody Barnes, 11, from Quilpie, phones Macca on the ABC. He is helping his dad muster cattle. Says he will attend Downlands College in Towooomba, as a boarder, in 2019. There is hope for the future when you hear young blokes like Cody.
Marie and I walk Bull Falls track at Mt Mee. One drink each (Pale ale and ginger beer) at Ocean View Winery/Brewery. Lovely place.
Watch under-19 World Cup cricket and India beat Australia by 100 runs.
Former Cronulla coach, Noel ‘Sailor’ Thornton, has died. He had been living on the Gold Coast. Noel played Aussie rules as a teenager, then rugby league at Warwick, before signing for Wests in Brisbane. He represented Brisbane against France in 1964. In 1974 he replaced British Test halfback, Tommy Bishop as coach of Cronulla
Photo 1: Jack Nardi takes the ball into the teeth of the Surfers Paradise defence at Murwillumbah in 1974. The other Brothers’ players are Milton Whybrow and Kevin Weaver.
Photo 2: Chris Johns on the attack against Newcastle.