The following information is provided so that future
generations of The Brothers Hockey Club Townsville
will have a record of the proceedings that occurred to
launch a book on the history of the club.
On the 26th March 2011 a function was held in Townsville at
The Pier Restaurant to launch a book on The History of The
Brothers Hockey Club. The book is titled,
“The Family of Hockey - A History of Brothers Hockey Club
The book was commissioned by members Michael & Trish
Hart in memory of Michael’s father, James Patrick (Mick) Hart
who was Club Patron, Life Member and stalwart of Brothers
Hockey Club Townsville. The Author is Gary McKay who has
published many books, including some on Australia’s
involvement in the Vietnam war.
The function was held in two sessions-the first being an
evening book launch gathering attended by some 120 past &
present club members, Townsville Hockey Association
executives, kindred clubs & visiting dignitaries.
The second function started immediately after the book
launch when approximately 80 people attended a celebration
dinner at the Pier restaurant.
Both functions were resoundingly successful with the
Townsville Hockey fraternity enjoying the opportunity to
meet old friends and relive past experiences.
This is the record of speeches made on the night.
BOOK LAUNCH - AGENDA - 26/03/2011
* 4.00 p.m. GUESTS ARRIVE
* 5.40 p.m. AUTHOR-GARY McKAY
* 6.30 p.m. SESSION CLOSE
Hello everyone, on behalf of your hosts for this Evening, Michael & Trish Hart, I welcome you and pass on
their wishes that all have an enjoyable experience on this historic occasion of the launch of the book on the
history of The Brothers Hockey Club………
I am Bernie Walsh and I shall be your M.C. for this part of the celebration….. To the younger and youngish
generation of the club here today, as you can tell by the colour of my hair, most of my club knowledge is of a
bygone era, so please feel free to share with me any information on the current day club…..
Before we start, I will mention a few house keeping matters ……..
* If you have mobile phones would you please turn them off or to silent……
* Anyone taking photos, please try not to disrupt the professional photographer., but take as many photos as
you wish…..
There are a few apologies from some who are unable to attend today which I would like to mention……
* Barry & Jean Malcolm
Wednesday, 9th. February,2011
Thank you for inviting Jean and I to the launch of the history of Brothers Hockey Club. Unfortunately
we cannot attend.
Hope you have a wonderful and successful night.
Regards, Barry Malcolm.
* Merv Crossman. Merv is not in the best of health. Rhonda, Merv’s wife has sent a wonderful letter and we
wish Merv a return to good health.
It’s unfortunate that Barry & Merv cannot be here, but most will remember them as Townsville’s first
Olympic hockey players and arguably… two of the best hockey players that Townsville has
Unfortunately for Brothers they both played for Parks.
*Bill Hansen a member of Brothers first THA A Grade premiership team of 1966. These days Bill lives on the
Gold Coast .
G'day Bernie,
Thanks for passing on the email.
I received a note recently from Mick Hart about the big event.
I told Mick that unfortunately I won't be able to make it to the launch.
It sounds like a great idea to have all those old memories to share.
I look back fondly on those days that seem so long ago now.
Give my apologies to all my old hockey mates & let them know I'll be thinking of them on the day.
Bill Hansen
*Merv Cox- from the Commercials Club and manager of the 1965 Townsville Men’s Touring Side.
Dear Mike,
I was surprised and delighted to receive an invitation to the launch of "The Family of Hockey".
It is a commendable initiative on your part, and will be, I'm sure, a most valuable contribution to the recording of
Townsville hockey history. Hopefully, future generations will be thankful that these details were not lost with the passing
Regrettably, I will be unable to attend, as I will be in Brisbane visiting family and will not be home until late March . I am
sure that all will have a wonderful time catching up with the old hockey fraternity replaying long-gone games.
Sadly last Friday, I attended the funeral of Clarice Walker (Ron "Limpy" Walker's wife) and caught up with a lot of old
broken-down hockey players. Among them were many members of our great 1965 touring team. Barry Malcolm, Ron
James, Len Dowd, and Gordon Spenceley to name a few. Perhaps we should think about a reunion of that tour sometime
in the future before it is too late.
Once again Mike, thanks for the invitation, and I wish you and the Club every success with this very worthy publication.
Kindest Regards,
Merv Cox
* Lyn Faull. Lyn’s maiden name was Haynes. She was captain of the first Brothers ladies team that was
formed in 1960. Her brother John was goalkeeper for the first Brothers men’s team that was formed in 1954.
Lyn now lives in Melbourne.
* Bill Melchert-a past great Commercials & Townsville hockey identity. Bill lives in Sydney and sends his
best wishes.
* Roland Sieczkowski. Zac’s wife is currently overseas and he is not able to attend.
Zac now lives in Brisbane.
*Alan Mitchell- a past playing stalwart of BHC who now lives in Canberra.
*Alan Page-a past long term Brothers member and A Grade player. He now lives in Canberra.
*Bill & Sally White. They were part of the strong Brothers parent support group of the 1970’s. In 1977 Bill
White & John Lynch shared the Joseph Knight Memorial Cup, awarded for outstanding service to Brothers
Hockey Club. These days Bill & Sally live on the Sunshine Coast.
* Hockey Queensland’s,….. Karin Walduck and Gary West-Bail also send their apologies.
That completes the major part of the apologies!……………
The format for this first part of our celebration of the book launch will include
* comments from Michael Hart who commissioned the book
* comments from Len Dowd representing the Dowd Families.
* the book launch by well know Townsville business identity,….. Graham Jackson.
* comments from the author of the book Gary McKay
During these speeches we will continue to serve drinks & nibbles, however, I ask that noise be kept to a
minimum. This first part of the function should finish at approximately 6:30 p.m.
The second part of today’s gathering will be a dinner in the Pier restaurant and that will commence directly
after the book launch celebration is completed………
So on behalf of The Brothers Hockey Club, I would like to extend a warm welcome to past & present
club members. …..To kindred clubs,… THA Chair-Brian Kershaw and visiting dignitaries thank you for
joining us to celebrate this special occasion of the book launch on the history of The Brothers Hockey Club.
At this time I would like to share a few brief points on this book that has been professionally produced by the
Author….. Gary McKay………
There is no doubt that a glossy publication like this does require a considerable amount of money to produce
and Michael & Trish Hart’s generous sponsorship was vital in completing the project…. However, my
experience from being involved with amateur sporting clubs has taught me that if members are passionate
enough about a particular project that requires both money and effort to achieve,… they will usually find a way
of marshalling the members and raising the cash……..
So, YES the money was important,… BUT, the REAL SUCCESS in producing this book has more to do
with… “CARPE DIAM”…. and someone seizing the day and driving the project to completion,.. because if
that initiative was not taken by Michael Hart and supported by Trish we would not be here today to be part of
history being made…….
It would be easy to go away from here today after an enjoyable time and not realize that something significant
and historic has happened. That realization usually becomes clearer with time………………..
While I may well be corrected, I understand that this book that is being launched today may be the first
produced about a hockey club in Queensland. Hockey has been played for many years and there have been
many great clubs over that time, but I am in awe of the fact that it is The Brothers Hockey Club that is
creating history both for the club and Townsville hockey…. in general.
I have read the book and believe it to be a correct record of club happenings and a good read. The difficulty
that any author must face when writing a record of a club that has existed for more than 50 years is how to
mention every person and record every incident that has helped the club along it’s journey….. That would be
near impossible…..
The author has to be selective of the material so that the publication can fit into both time and cost budgets. In
this case, Gary McKay has done an excellent job of…. capturing and describing the spirit of the club and
what made it successful.
While this book is about The Brothers Hockey Club, the author has painted a broader picture than that, giving
it a much wider reader appeal……… The book contains a fine record of early Townsville hockey and
numerous other writings on Townsville hockey……. There is generous mention of our kindred Townsville
clubs and their personalities and……. also our sister club in Cairns-Souths……..
General hockey interest items have also been included……
I am sure that you will enjoy the read!
Before introducing the first speaker I would like to talk about the Hart family……..
The family consisted of Mick & Mrs Hart and two boys, Michael and Wayne. Three of them played hockey
for Brothers. Michael & Wayne both played in the full back position, Michael playing A1 Grade &
Wayne A2 Grade,…. with the third playing all positions in what ever game was going……
If my memory is correct, Michael may have been one of the first Brothers players to represent Queensland
when he was selected in a State under 14 or under 16 team… His hockey career was disrupted and cut short
when he was conscripted into National Service during the Vietnam campaign………
As a full back in A1 Michael was a skilful player and if I had to describe his playing style, it would probably
Wayne was different…… Wayne played the game the way he lived life and that was full-on….. He was
tough, un-comprising and played with passion.. and if I had to describe his playing style, it would
The third Hart to play the game was - OLD MICK HART and I use the word OLD as a term of endearment.
When Brothers won their FIRST Townsville A Grade Men’s Premiership in 1966 most were in their late teens
or early 20’s… Gordon Spenceley was the captain and grandfather of the team - Speno was only 26. So to us
Mick was old, even though he was probably only in his early 40’s……………
OLD MICK played more hockey than anyone I knew without actually ever taking the field. At Cutheringa
Park in West End, when Brothers were playing on fields 1,2 & 3, he could, by standing between fields 1 and 2,
follow and cheer for three Brothers teams at the same time. I often wondered when the A grade Team was
playing on field 1 if Mick, while still cheering for fields 2 and 3 still had time for in-depth conversations with
Ron James the Park’s goal-keeper………….
Then there was Mrs. Hart…….affectionately know to many as DOLLY……..It was Mrs. Hart who deserved
all the accolades as she was the one who had to keep these three males in line…… and she did that
It was Mrs Hart, who, in partnership with Vince Dowd, started the initial money raising ball rolling for
Brothers and that resulted eventually in the club acquiring their own playing complex at Pioneer
So lets move onto the first speaker ……… please welcome with your applause - Michael
Dad, Mick Hart Senior, died a little more than 3 years ago. Because of his long and deep involvement
with Brothers Hockey Club, we knew that a Memorial Trophy would be created in memory of him and
that duly occurred – and we are very appreciative of that.
But the Brothers Hockey Club Memorial Trophy space is a crowded space – testimony to the family
spirit of the Club.
And Memorial Trophies don't always last.
I was looking for something more enduring and toyed with the idea of providing some physical
improvements or additions to the Clubhouse, but I didn't really think that would fill the need we were
looking for. I let various thoughts roll around in my head for a while – knowing that, sooner or later,
the answer would come. And it did!
Not quite like a light bulb going off, but the idea was relatively sudden – have a book written, not about
Dad, but about one of his "strong love interests" – Brothers Hockey Club.
Talking of which – another love interest – Dolly (Mum) – is here today and this is the first time she has
braved attending a Brothers Hockey Club event since Dad died a little over 3 years ago.
I knew immediately who the author should be – Gary McKay. Gary and I have, in part, a common
military history – although his is far less common than mine!
Our common history derives from the National Service Scheme in operation during the period from
1965 to 1972 under which, if you were called up, you were required to spend 2 years in the Army. If
you did not turn up – they would put you in jail!
I think for each of Gary and me, it is the only major raffle we have ever won. The way the system
worked was that the country needed about 8% of Australian males to serve in the military for periods
of 2 years; it conducted quarterly ballots under which birth dates were chosen – and if your birth date
was chosen, you were in!
A significant percentage of National Servicemen stayed on in the Army after the expiration of the
2 year period, as did Gary. Gary served in Vietnam and, after Vietnam, wrote a book called,
"In Good Company” – a story about his early years in the army, including his time in National Service
and in Vietnam.
It was and is a great, easy read! Several books have followed, including:
 A book about Cyclone Tracey
 A book about firefighters (Gary became an honorary 'firie' for this purpose, doing the basic
course and actually attending fires!)
 Various military histories
 Local and institutional histories
He was the man for this job!
We formed a local committee (and not so local – Bernie Walsh was in Brisbane) and I linked the
committee up with Gary.
The initial committee comprised Vince Dowd, Len Dowd,
Bernie Murray,
Gordon Spenceley,
Kathy Knight,
Bernie Walsh,
Ted Blackmore,
Greg Deacon, Greg Fazel and Geoff Brown. Others were brought in as matters progressed. Gary
worked directly with the committee over a period of a couple of years and, for my part, I substantially
bowed out of that activity until "manuscript time" and the printing and launch.
Dad became associated with Brothers Hockey Club when my brother, Wayne (who, with his family, is
here today) and I, started playing hockey in the Under-12s team for Brothers in 1956 or '57. Dad very
quickly became involved and, just as quickly, became:
 An "expert"
 Brothers most vocal supporter
 One of Brothers most active workers
Also with Mum – at least in terms of being an active worker!
But the book is not about Dad, although, by his very personality, he features in it.
It is about Brothers Hockey Club.
My most lasting and vivid memories about Brothers Hockey Club are:
 The Dowd family
 And, of course, Brothers winning it's first Senior Men's Grand Final in 1966
Vince Dowd devoted a number of years to coaching Brothers Juniors, as well as to Club
administration. My memories of being at Cutheringa Park most days of every week and a bunch of us
riding home on our bikes with Vince, as the encroaching dark prevented us from seeing the white ball,
are endearing memories. If Zac (Rowland Sieczkowski) was able to be here today, he would tell you
a story of how Vince saw him watching the Under-12s train and Vince invited him into the group – and
Zac became a personality, as well as a very good player, within Brothers Hockey Club and Townsville
Even Vince's older brother, Frank, who is recognized as starting the current Brothers Hockey Club,
took time out to watch the Juniors. I can remember that after one game (which must've been
important for some reason!), Frank shook our hands and congratulated us – in Under-12s – when we
came off the field. Frank's widow, Lillian, and some of her family, are here today.
My memory of Brothers is a memory of a vibrant, growing Club that eventually had the successes it
yearned for; and it was part of a vibrant and friendly (although very competitive) Townsville Hockey
Association. It is great to see some old competitors here today.
Anyway – it's all in the book! In it's final form, the book is an elegant, attractive book and is a great
Whilst none of us expect it to hit the best seller list, it will be a base for future histories of Brothers
Hockey Club and, maybe, an inspiration for other hockey groups to embark upon compiling histories.
Enjoy the get together!
I have been looking at some of the faces gathered here today and would like to make mention of one past club
member that I have not seen for a long time and that is Eddie Sheerans……..
Eddie, in the early years played for the club. …He was typical of many club members who played,… not for
the glory, but, simply for the enjoyment and comraderie that the game provided….. He always had a joke or
tall story to tell. I sometimes doubted if most of his stories were true,… but, then why would you let a few
facts get in the way of a good story…….
He was a member of The Townsville Representative Team that toured New South Wales in 1965 and was
always the life of the party…….
Later he transferred to Cairns and played hockey with our sister club… Souths and also represented
Queensland in Veterans Hockey……
These days he is retired and lives on the Atherton Tablelands, with his wife.
Eddie,….. thanks for joining with the club for this celebration……
Our next speaker really needs no introduction,……but first a few words……..
The Dowd name has been synonymous with The Brothers Hockey Club since the club’s inception in 1954
and includes a family involvement record of………………. four club Presidents,… a few Secretaries…. and
many coaches……..
The Dowd family was no different to many large families of the time, with the exception being that… they all
played hockey. To mention a few names, there was Frank, Kevin, Pat, Clair, Vince, Len and Ray…….You
would need to be a good player to make that side…………
For the same family to be involved with a sporting club for more than 50 years is a wonderful achievement
and something that needs further explanation and who better to tell us than a family member……………
Please make welcome……. Len Dowd.
By Len Dowd
On behalf of the Dowd Families, I wish to thank Brothers’ Hockey
Club for the opportunity to say a few words on this historic occasion
of the launch of their book “The Families of Hockey”.
I am sure if my older brother Frank Dowd was here today he would
be very proud of what his Hockey Team of 11 or so boys back in
1954 had grown to. In the 80’s & 90’s our Club must have had in
the vicinity of 250 players, both men and women, plus just as many
supporters. We would have been one of the biggest clubs in Qld
Our Club was very fortunate in being a family orientated Club. We
were blessed with a very large number of families who got behind
the Club and gave it their ALL. I will not mention any names
because there were so many. To miss some out would be a great
In closing, I would like to congratulate Brothers’ Hockey Club
in producing this book and in particular Michael Hart, who came up
with the idea and has been the driving force behind its production.
I would also like to thank ALL Club Members who had a great
input into the compiling of information that was required for the
Lastly, I would like to thank the Author, Gary McKay, for the
enormous effort it must have taken to write the book as he had no
connection with the Club before but now must be quite an authority
on it.
Once again, Thank You for the opportunity to say a few
words and I hope the sale of the book goes well.
(After Len Dowd’s speech)-BERNIE WALSH
Before moving on I have one last story that involves the Dowd’s. ………….
About two weeks ago I had reason to phone Len and ask if he could do a small favour for me…. No problem
he said…….I will put it on my list for tomorrow………….. Two days later I phoned back……the
conversion went something like this,………
Len, it’s Bernie….I am calling back to see how you got on with my job?………… Well, he said,… that was
on my “to do list”,… however……..Just then a loud voice came from the background … was Norma
……Walshie……she said,…… in that voice that wife‘s are known to use when wanting to.. make a point
………… He hasn’t done it…….. Because….. he has been out mowing the Brothers fields……
I thought to myself….how good is this…..after 55 years a Dowd is still baby-sitting The Brothers Hockey
Let’s move on!
Before we move to our next speaker I would like to tell you a SHORT story about some of our club members,
with the emphasis being on the word SHORT……..
During that 1965 Townsville Hockey Tour of New South Wales that I had mentioned, one of the games was
against Canberra…. The Townsville forward line for that game was,……
*Left Wing-Brian Ferns
*Inside Left-Ted Blackmore
*Centre Forward-Barry Malcolm
*Inside Right-Len Dowd
*Right Wing-Roland Sieczkowski
Now what you need to know about these fellows is that none of them are of tall statue,….in fact they could be
described as….. rather short. …………
For example.
Brian Ferns……Flea was about 5’4”
Ted Blackmore…Ted was 5’6’’. He reckons that he is 5’6.…&½”, but that is only in his dreams.
Barry Malcolm…….Doc was about 5’5”
Len Dowd…….Dowdie was about 5’6”
Roland Sieczkowski……….Zac was about 5’4”--and that didn’t matter whether you measured…. up &
down,….. or across, it was all the same……….However he could score goals…….
Well ,when the Townsville team ran onto the field that day to play,…. the Canberra supporters were heard to
call out words like MIDGETS,… DWARFS,…and other similar words………..
To make matters worse on the day… Fred Edwards,…. the giant of the Townsville forward line standing about
6’1” was being rested,…. and that lowered the average height considerably. ……
I will say more about Fred Edwards later, but first I will continue with the story….
As the game progressed the Canberra fans were not so boisterous any more as they realised that the
Townsville forwards …….“the Mighty Midgets”…… ,were giving the Canberra team a bit of a touch up….
and it was not until they were down 4-0 that they realized they had a game on their hands………. They never
recovered, losing 4-1.
You see,…. what Canberra didn’t know was what we already knew and that was,… despite their short statue
the Townsville forward line really knew how to score goals…
Best forwards that day were… Ted Blackmore & Barry Malcolm and best backs were Ron James &
Michael Hart.
So ends this SHORT story!
Let’s move on!
We now come to the most important part of the proceedings and that is the launch of the book on the history
of The Brothers Hockey Club…..
Before inviting to the microphone Townsville identity and renowned businessman… Graham Jackson
who will officially launch the book……. I take this opportunity to say a few words of introduction…………
Graham started his early education in Brisbane before moving to Townsville to complete
commerce-accounting at James Cook University….. He is also an accomplished pianist and obviously his son,
Glen Jackson has inherited those talents..
On moving to Townsville Graham became involved with The Brothers Hockey Club through his son Glen who
started in the junior ranks and progressed through the grades to play A Grade for the club. Glen was selected in
Queensland State Teams at under 16 & under 21 and He was also club President in 1992.……..
Graham’s list of life achievements are too vast for me to mention the lot, so I will concentrate on the major
ones that he has been involved with over the years.
* Founding member Lions Club of Townsville.
* President Townsville Rotary Club.
* Chairman Townsville Rotary Traffic Training Centre.
* Chairman Royal Queensland Bush Children’s Health Scheme.
* Chairman Belgian Gardens PYC Fund Raising Appeal.
* Chairman Red Shield Appeal.
* Member of the Salvation Army Advisory Board.
* Deputy Chairman of the Queensland Small Development Corporation.
* Managing Director Loloma jewellery stores Townsville.
* President Townsville Chamber of Commerce.
* Founding Director & life Member of Townsville Enterprise Limited.
* Board Member & Life Member of Barrier Reef Basketball-The Crocodiles in NBL.
* Advisory Commissioner to North Qld Cowboys.
* Rotary Paul Harris Fellow.
* Awarded the Medal of Order of Australia for services to charities and community.
* Inducted into Townsville Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame in 2003.
* He was the 2007 Townsville Citizen of the Year.
Before this function and while I was discussing with Graham how I could best introduce him, he gave me a list,
but, with a request to keep his achievements low-key as today was about THE BOOK and not him……
While I have tried my best, I would be doing the occasion an injustice if I had not highlighted what a talented
person we have to launch this book…….
Would you please welcome ……..Graham Jackson!
It is a great honour to be here today for this celebration. Firstly however I must complain about the MC reading
out so much detail from my CV which he had requested . I had purposely said , when forwarding it that the
Focus should be on the Club and not on any Speaker. I am taking the liberty of fining our MC $10.00 which he
can pay at the front desk as leaves this afternoon.
We have had a long involvement with Brothers both with Family Members and having donated many Trophies
through our business over the years. However before I start I would like to thank Gordon Spence ley. You are
aware that my son Glen and his Band Damaged Goods are reforming tonight to play at the THA. ………25
Years ago they used to practice in our garage a few times a week and we would sit and listen as the boys learnt
to play their instruments …very painful !!…and loud !! at this point we lost touch with our neighbours who had
great difficulty in understanding how we allowed people to make such a commotion in our garage and let it
echo through the suburb!! One day Glen arrived home and said that Gordon had said it was ok to practice in
Brothers Hockey hall…he is not aware of it, but were indebted for his action……..we started speaking to , and
being friends with ,our neighbours once more…so thank you Gordon!!
Brothers Club was always a professionally run Club…good operators who found the balance between striving
for excellence on and off the field ……..and ensured at the same time they maintained a good social culture.
Grand final days were typical of this culture. Win ,lose or draw, Brothers end of year celebrations were always
days to remember….and quite often they did go on for days!! I know one year the Club ended up at Magnetic
Island on the Monday and were met by the Police on their return…..My son Glen assured me that it had nothing
to do with him and suggested that it was Geoff Brown who was the cause of it all!!
We had the Club over to our House at Bergin Rd on many occasions for different events and celebrations…I
remember one year on Grand Final Night when the Celebrations ended up at home…This was the first time
they had actually won the Men’s Final so as you can imagine they were very festive…and all good natured.
When we awoke in the morning we found our pet Labrador Gindy , had turned pink with the use of vanilla
essence and was walking around with Rabbit Ears attached….we knew we were in for an experience!! There
were a few bodies lying around the house…one lying on a blow up bed in the pool…………….the Kitchen
looked as though we had just completed a Junior Master Chef Program ….and the boys decided at 3 am to do
some wine tasting from my Wine Collection from which it took me years to recover….it was then I realised
that many of them that night had completed their Drinking Apprenticeships as a result of being Club members.
To read the Book which I commend to you, is a real trip down Memory Lane…on so many pages , another
photo or words recall another Game ……or Event……. or Celebration ……or Tour………just hundreds of
players whose names will now never be forgotten thanks to Mick and Family who commissioned Gary to
research and write the Book…we are indebted to them all…I have pleasure in launching the History of
Brothers Hockey Club Townsville...
It is now time to speak to the person responsible for producing this glossy publication and as you all know, that
is Gary McKay……
I first heard of Gary around February 2009 and met him for the first time when he came to my Brisbane home
in April 2009. During our early “get to know you talk” I asked Gary if he had played hockey……he
answered…..that the closest that he had ever come to the game of hockey was when as a young man he had
briefly escorted a young lass who had a father who was involved in hockey and that father demanded that
Gary have his daughter home before a curfew of 11:00p.m….. He proceeded to tell me that the association
lasted only briefly and when he mentioned that the father was none other than………………………
….TERRY MOESSINGER,….. I understood. Most will remember that name….
In the short time that I have know Gary McKay, I have found him to be professional in all his dealings and the
type of person who,… while calling a spade a spade, is also courteous and respectful towards others…. Maybe
that is an enviable trait that has come from his military days.
The following will tell us more about the man!
Gary McKay was conscripted into National Service in 1968. He saw active service in South Viet Nam as a rifle
platoon commander with 4 RAR. In the latter half of his tour of duty he was severely wounded and returned to
Australia. For his actions in Viet Nam he was awarded the Military Cross for gallantry. Gary served for a total
of 30 years in uniform retiring in 1998 as a lieutenant colonel. He commanded at platoon, company, and
battalion level and served with distinction in Canada, Malaysia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. Gary is
the author of 12 books on Australia in the Viet Nam war, and has published another seven on various historical
and biographical subjects. An autobiographical account of his experiences as a platoon commander is
recounted in his best-selling IN GOOD COMPANY, which is now used as a leadership text. He has written
oral histories and regimental accounts including infantry, SAS, Armour, the Training Team and most recently
the civilian surgical teams. He has written the definitive account of Cyclone Tracy that destroyed Darwin in
1974, a book on Queensland fire-fighters and one on the history of white settlement on the Sunshine Coast. He
is now a freelance historian and full-time author, writing non-fiction books and film scripts. He lives in Jervis
Bay with his partner Margot.
Please make welcome with your applause - Gary McKay!
(Details to follow)
Before coming to Townsville for today’s celebration, I was reminiscing about past Townsville club hockey
games that I had played and also those whom I had competed against…….
I jotted down some notes with the hope that I might get the opportunity to say a few words ,….. then when I
heard the news, …and I might add in my absence,…that …
my mates…. had voted me into the master of ceremonies role,…. I thought that I would certainly highlight a
few names……
I mentioned during that short story the name Fred Edwards and how he did not play the game against Canberra.
I shall now tell a few facts about him…………
Most elite sports people tend to concentrate on and excel at the one sport,….
…Freddie Edwards played and excelled in multiple sports…..some were……
Cricket: He played A grade club cricket and also represented Townsville and Queensland Country.
Basketball: He played A Grade club basketball and also represented Townsville, Queensland and Australia.
Hockey: He played A Grade club hockey and also represented Townsville and Queensland…….
I would rate him one of the best…. all round sportsman….. of that early era that Townsville produced……
However,…. unfortunately for Brothers…. he played for Parks……
There seems to have been a lot of these talented hockey players of the era, with Parks and if you consider names
Malcolm, Crossman, Roberts, Edwards, James, Mason, McElligott, Seib and Neil Hegarty,
…. they were a strong group….
If the Townsville Association of that era played under an NRL type salary cap, That Parks team would
probably have been about 400% over their limit……
However,…. with time,… the Brethren did learn how to beat them…….
West’s had players like Dick Cummins and Ray Jones… Dicky must have been the shortest fullback ever to
play in Townsville. However, he was well supported by his other fullback ,…… Ross Hammett who was only
slightly taller. Off the field, Dicky was about 5’4” and on the field he played liked he was 6’4”. He was
tenacious and played to win……..and after the game always had a happy remark to make.
Commercials also had their share of strong players, including Geoff Jorgensen and Bill Melchert. …..The
Brothers boys will remember sharing many a good night with Bill Melchert at the Royal Hotel…..
Townsville was blessed with many good hockey players in that era who jelled together as a Townsville
team…… because they were also….. good mates. …..
In the early 1970’s four Brothers juniors from “the second generation” of club players were selected in
Queensland State under16 teams and went on to play A Grade club hockey. They were Ralph Irwin, Lex
Hamilton, John Dempster and Gary Colledge.
I will talk about one of these…….
Gary Colledge was promoted into the Brothers A Grade men’s side in 1973 at the age of 16 and quickly
became a valuable member, playing at inside-right…… At the time he was a boy playing against men and took
some hard knocks, but to his credit he never reciprocated and kept his mind on the game……..
He was tremendously talented,…. tough,….determined,… but still showed humility and respect towards his
opponents…..they are the traits of a……. true sportsman……
While he did go on to higher selections, he probably never received the accolades that he deserved…… and
some of the Brothers.. “old brigade” of hockey players still regard Gary Colledge as one of the best Brothers
juniors to have come through the ranks…..
So lets move on.
At this time I ask that you fill your glasses as soon we will be drinking a toast…..
When I call their name, would the Life Members of the Brothers hockey club come forward………
* Bernie Murray
* Kathy Knight
* Gordon Spenceley
* Len Dowd
* Kayleen Giezendanner
* Geoff Brown
* Greg Fazel
* Mark Eldridge
Some life members cannot be here today,…..they are….
* Vince Dowd
* Tom Eldridge
We also remember past Life Members…….
* Frank Dowd
* Mick Hart Snr
* Wally Bull
* Eileen Gilboy
Would the author Gary McKay…..and Michael & Trish Hart also come forward……
There are still two very special people who are needed and I ask Len Dowd and Michael Hart to help with
Please welcome Mrs Lillian Dowd Frank Dowd’s wife & Brothers Life Member & Mick Hart Senior’s
wife Mrs Dolly Hart who will soon cut the celebration cake.
* I now invite Gordon Spenceley to propose a toast to Brothers, Kindred Clubs & Townsville hockey.
Firstly, I would like to congratulate Gary on the publication of the book. Well done!
To the Hart family in particular Michael and Trish
I know this book has been a big expense but I also know that the “Old Man” would be pleased
with the result.
To the members of Brothers Hockey Club I say “it has been a wonderful journey so far. May it
continue for at least another fifty years.”
To Kindred Clubs PARKS, WESTS and COMMERCIALS we say “Thanks for the competition
during the years and the friendships we have made “.
To Townsville Hockey Association I know what a big job it is to run the association as I was a
member for many years and a Past President. Keep up the good work Brian (Kershaw).
I would like everybody to charge your glasses and I propose a toast to THE HART FAMILY,
Well folks….this part of our celebration is coming to an end and I take the opportunity to thank you for being
such a good audience… Thank you book sellers for your help………………… Thank you also to the
management and staff of The Pier Restaurant for your service………..
Those who have indicated they wish to purchase books…… now is the time to visit the book sellers who are
ready to assist you… If you are quick the author…Gary McKay will even sign your copy….for free.
However,….the night is still young…. for those who are staying for dinner. ……The restaurant staff will be
seating guests soon.
For the “Party People” who are not staying for dinner…. and even the “Party People”..
who are staying for dinner,…if you wish to rage on further, the place to go is The Townsville Hockey
Association club house where the reformed local band………. “Damaged Goods” is performing……
This group is made up of past hockey players like……….
* Rod Malcolm
* Steve Lynch
* Glen Jackson
* Lance Vickers
* Mark Wotherspoon
* Terry Wotherspoon
So if you want a good night go out to the Association Clubhouse and support the hockey boys……………….
I would like to close this part of our celebration with a message to the members of the Brothers Hockey Club