Big Merv @ ‘Metaland’ 1992

Big Merv @ ‘Metaland’ 1992

Featured Image: Courtesy of ‘The Way We Were’; A Pictorial History of the Scone District 1901 – 2001 by Anne McMullin, Kath Farrell and Audrey Entwisle; Federation Publication No. 4; Published by Scone and Upper Hunter Historical Society Inc. 2001

This is the ‘slimline’ version of three hirsute celebrities; two local and one an international Test Cricketer of some note. It seems not so long ago; but I promise you I was there! Nowadays much of the thatch is diminished; but only in proportion to the expanding belt buckles? Cheeky bugger me!

Aberdeen Pony Club 2000

Aberdeen Pony Club 2000

Featured Image: Courtesy of ‘The Way We Were’; A Pictorial History of the Scone District 1901 – 2001 by Anne McMullin, Kath Farrell and Audrey Entwisle; Federation Publication No. 4; Published by Scone and Upper Hunter Historical Society Inc. 2001

This is an eclectic group! Many of these ‘juniors’ have gone on to bigger and better things. Fergus Lee-Warner is a star with the Western Force (WA) Super Rugby Squad and is vying for Wallaby selection. It could be that the discipline and team work instilled into them at this age will stand them in good stead for their adult lives? I think I know the parents of most. They have had a good start on life’s journey!

Australian Stock Horse Society Administration Team January 1996

Australian Stock Horse Society Administration Team January 1996

Featured Image: Courtesy of ‘The Way We Were’; A Pictorial History of the Scone District 1901 – 2001 by Anne McMullin, Kath Farrell and Audrey Entwisle; Federation Publication No. 4; Published by Scone and Upper Hunter Historical Society Inc. 2001

There is no doubt that the origin of the idea for Australian Stock Horses to be part of the opening ceremony for the Sydney Olympic Games 2000 rests with the (now) late Brian Brown. All the credit goes to him and he persisted with the idea despite early ‘resistance’ from SOCOG. He told me at the first meeting a rather intimidating ‘termagant-type’ lady member said; “There is no way I will allow MY athletes to be contaminated with horse dung”! It was bad start but fortuitously Ric Birch saw it differently. He liked the original idea. It’s now deservedly part of National and Olympic History. The Australian Stock Horse Society 1996 administrative team (above) headed by Brian Brown represents the ‘go to’ squad directly responsible for this component of the rich tapestry of our collective sporting history.

See also: http://sconevetdynasty.com.au/gold-gold-gold/

Listen: https://www.abc.net.au/radio/newcastle/programs/drive/scone-stockhorse-rider-olympic-games/12666356

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Mark Twain in Scone

Mark Twain

Featured Image: A signed copy of a photograph presented to the dentist in Newcastle Mr Albert Wells

America’s famous humourist and orator Mark Twain (aka Samuel Langhorne Clemens) visited Newcastle on 19 December 1895, en route to deliver a public lecture in the upper Hunter township of Scone. On the train trip he had been working on his great Australian poem which he would later debut at this public lecture. Although he did plan for a more extensive tour of the region, Scone remains the farthest north he reached on his Australian journey. The original Willow Tree Hotel in Liverpool Street was built in the early 1840s. In 1894 it boasted to providing the best accommodation, an excellent sampling room for commercials, good stabling and a convenient paddock. Mark Twain stayed overnight at this hotel on Thursday 19th December 1895. He gave a lecture at the School of Arts in Kingdon Street before departing the next day at 11:25am arriving in Sydney at 7:15pm.

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Scone Shire Olympic Torchbearers, August 31, 2000

Scone Shire Olympic Torchbearers, August 31, 2000

Featured Image: Courtesy of ‘The Way We Were’; A Pictorial History of the Scone District 1901 – 2001 by Anne McMullin, Kath Farrell and Audrey Entwisle; Federation Publication No. 4; Published by Scone and Upper Hunter Historical Society Inc. 2001

I knew most of them. Sadly many are departed. However their legacy lives on and is rekindled ‘in spades’ as we approach the 20th Anniversary of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games; now fairly cited as ‘saving the modern Olympic movement’ after a ‘hiccup’ at Atlanta 1996? Peter O’Donnell (020) was an Olympic Gold Medal Winner with his combined victory in yachting at the Tokyo Olympics 1964.

Jamie Feeney: Budding Banjo 1994?

Jamie Feeney: Budding Banjo 1994?

Featured Image: Courtesy of ‘The Way We Were’; A Pictorial History of the Scone District 1901 – 2001 by Anne McMullin, Kath Farrell and Audrey Entwisle; Federation Publication No. 4; Published by Scone and Upper Hunter Historical Society Inc. 2001

Most sporting aficionados would be intimately familiar with the outstanding National Rugby League career of Jamie Feeney?

See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamie_Feeney

See: https://www.roosters.com.au/news/2020/06/24/jamie-feeney-appointed-roosters-2020-nrl-womens-head-coach/

I remember young Jamie Feeney very well indeed! My son Hugh was representing the Scone Junior Thoroughbreds Under-X RL Team. He was a ‘bench player’ under the expert coaching tutelage of legendary Scone identity Maurie Watts. Son Aaron Watts was the outstanding playmaker at 5/8th. Scone was playing South Muswellbrook Primary School. It would have been about 1987 or 1988? A superbly athletic very noticeable pure blond athlete stood out; even against a talented and powerful Scone side. He was Jamie Feeney. He ran like the wind with the ball and no-one could catch him. Even then Maurie Watts recognised precocious talent. ‘He’ll go far’ was Maurie’s accurate prediction. He did.

However it appears Jamie was multi-talented; including at Secondary School. Looking for something else I uncovered the presentation as depicted in the Featured Image above. Jamie at the time was a student at St Joseph’s High School in Aberdeen. Oc Adnum was an Aberdeen legend of the 20th century. Fittingly Jamie’s prize was ‘Australia’s Wide World of Sport’. Could it be that Jamie Feeney missed another career opportunity as a ‘Budding Banjo’? Perhaps he has progressed; unbeknown to thee, me, we, you and us?

Upper Hunter (Scone) Rural Lands Protection Board 1997

Upper Hunter (Scone) Rural Lands Protection Board 1997

Featured Image: Courtesy of ‘The Way We Were’; A Pictorial History of the Scone District 1901 – 2001 by Anne McMullin, Kath Farrell and Audrey Entwisle; Federation Publication No. 4; Published by Scone and Upper Hunter Historical Society Inc. 2001

I think the cadre of Directors tells the story? I knew nearly all of them and am closely related to one. Compared to the present Hunter Local Land Services this was a positively parochial cabal. It seems in today’s world there is much wider geographical distribution of resources. Is this galloping governmental bureaucracy in action; or am I being more than a trite critical (‘Yes Minister’)? It seemed to work in the 20th century. Now millennials rule the roost.

Snitzel’s Rare Champion Sire Feat

Snitzel’s Rare Champion Sire Feat

Acknowledge: ‘Australian Thoroughbred’ compiled by Brian Russell; September 2020

Featured Image: ‘Snitzel’ at Arrowfield

I/we wish for Brian a very happy 90th birthday celebration on Sunday 20th September 2020 before his actual birthday one day later (Monday 21st September 2020). Brian has always had very good ‘gate speed’ out of the barrier in the thoroughbred information stakes!

When Arrowfield Stud’s superstar sire Snitzel captured the Champion Australian sire’s title for 2019-20, he became only the second locally bred stallion since the records began in1883-84 to claim the honour in four successive years.

The only local stallion to perform this feat previously had been the Arrowfield Stud (now Coolmore) product Heroic. Standing at Herbert Thompson’s Tarwyn Park Stud, Bylong, Heroic earned the top Australian sire honour not only in his first four seasons of representation, 1932-33, 33-34, 34-35 and 35-36, but went on to be the leading sire for seven successive seasons, a record that stood until the golden era of Danehill (USA).

Initially used here thirty years ago in a partnership with John Messara at ‘Arrowfield’, then at Jerrys Plains HV, but now Segenhoe Valley, Scone, and Ireland headquartered ‘Coolmore’, dual hemisphere used Danehill was champion sire nine times,1994-95,1995-96 and 1996-97 and then in six successive years,1999-2005.

One of the most pre-potent sires in Australian history, Danehill has elevated Australian breeding to world class level, much of it through Arrowfield contribution. In particular, four times champion Australian sire Snitzel is a grandson in male line through Redoubte’s Choice, three times champion Australian sire from use at Arrowfield. They bred the Golden Slipper winners Danzero and Flying Spur respectively, in each of Danehill’s first two crops and met with considerable success with each of them from use in their Segenhoe Valley stallion yards.

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Watkin Tench & John Nicol

Watkin Tench & John Nicol

Featured Image: Watkin Tench

Professor Tim Flannery did an excellent job in editing and introducing two original seminal digests dedicated to our earliest colonial settlement and history. Without them our collective ignorance would have been even more profound. Alan Moorehead in ‘Tha Fatal Impact’ wrote ‘about the terrible legacy of European exploration of the Pacific; a classic study of the impact of European arrival in Tahiti, Australia and to a lesser extent the Antarctic is a tale of death, destruction and ecological distortion.

http://resolutereader.blogspot.com/2011/12/alan-moorehead-fatal-impact.html

Watkin Tench stepped ashore at Botany Bay with the First Fleet in January 1788. He was in his late twenties, a captain in the marines, and on the adventure of his life. Insatiably curious, with a natural genius for storytelling, Tench wrote two enthralling accounts of the infant colony: A Narrative of the Expedition to Botany Bay and A Complete Account of the Settlement at Port Jackson. Tench brings to life the legendary figures of Bennelong, Arabanoo and Governor Phillip, and records the voices of convicts trying to make new lives in their new country. Although not immediate the devastating ‘fatal impact’ of the Small Pox pandemic on the Camerigal and Gadigal tribes in the vicinity of Port Jackson was profound; bordering on genocide. Tench describes in detail the epicurean delight of the ‘light-horseman’; the local fish we know today as the snapper.

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Cockroaches emerge from the dark

Cockroaches emerge from the dark

See also: https://www.theaustralian.com.au/sport/afl/covid-mistake-enough-for-a-racist-attack-on-elijah-taykor/news-story/ae5257351b98c7f5f0d2f8fc1d36c680

 

Featured Image: Elijah Taylor courtesy of ‘The Australian’

See also: http://sconevetdynasty.com.au/the-sewer-of-social-media/

Unusually for him esteemed cricket writer Peter Lalor unleashed a fiercely targeted and furiously vituperative lambaste on the ‘low life’ which emerges when personal controversy emerges on the sporting scene. Peter was commenting on the vile racism accompanying the fall from grace of 19yo Sydney Swans AFL player Elijah Taylor. His crime? He ‘concealed’ his 18yo girlfriend into his hotel room during the COVID19 crisis. How many young men might not try the same trick?

Peter Lalor writes in ‘The Australian’ Thursday 20 August 2020 under the headline ‘One Covid breach enough for cockroaches to emerge from the dark’:

“The lowest Australian life form crept back from under the couch again. Anonymous as usual. Cowardly as ever. Crawling out of the cockroach corners. Spoiling sport. Infecting social fabric. Vomiting the disease that infests their ugly type”.

An anonymous troll with a ‘fake account’ had sent Taylor a message calling him a “dirty coon” and a ‘smelly monkey”, ‘phrases so offensive you hesitate to repeat them’. Both Taylor and his delectable girlfriend Lekhani Pearce expressed genuine contrition and profound remorse although Elijah pointedly commented ‘racism really doesn’t fix anything’. He had been suspended for the rest of the season and his club fined $25,000:00.

I’ve invented my own unbridled definition: Psitacciformes twitterati. Roughly translated = “Squawking parrots”!