Sunday, April 14, 2013

History bounces out of gloom for footy club picture project

HISTORY was a dry old offering for many of us kids growing up in regional Australia as baby boomers. The mechanical accounts were about as interesting as the manuals that arrived in the household appliance flood as the consumer age dawned. Well, to be honest, the manuals were better reading. They related to our lives more than the lists of dates and names with a few colourless bridging clauses.
SOME youngsters who were mentally tough enough to 'stick it out' with the historical books were lucky, towards the end of their school life, to get some great down-to-earth historical references through the ilk of the poet of the bush, Banjo Paterson, and another classy colonial, Henry Lawson. But many had closed the books and gone fishing, or kicked a football around on a paddock down the road. The smell of cow manure on leather is a lasting memory; even 'book worms' had to rest their eyes sometimes and stamp their stops on the slipperiness.
THIS reminiscence follows my browse through Tuesday's Bayside Bulletin and its enjoyable Our History page, with content from Redland City Council Local History and Heritage Library. Ah, the old Capalaba Drive-in, a far cry from the DVDs and digital downloads of today. Twenty-odd pages further into the edition another historical project featured in the Public Notices, with Alexandra Hills Australian Football Club calling for team photos from the past. The contact was a name that has been in the Redland public eye for decades. Murray Elliott first won election to then shire council in 1997, coincidentally the final year of that bituminous paradise of film.
MURRAY has a great love of history and admits his Aussie rules career didn't get out of the paddock. But he says that early in his career as a councillor he recognised the community value of the football club in Windemere Road and became involved. For the past 12 months Murray has been the club's secretary-treasurer. He has moved to fill a big gap in the Bombers' memorabilia, between the club foundation in 1980 and the past few years. The pictures will feature in the clubhouse, for which the administration, led by president Paul Redfern, has big plans. Murray revealed he is working on an application for a gaming licence to provide revenue to support the 350-strong contingent of players.
 "WE get good crowds here for the home games – up to a couple of hundred spectators – and there were about 800 at a round robin we held," he says. Murray says the Bombers coaches – seniors and under 18s Graham Henwood and reserves Troy Beresford – have worked hard with their squads before the season opens tomorrow with home games against Aspley. The oval will be busy again on Sunday with the juniors' pre-season grading.
This column has appeared in The Redland Times.

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