Scone Horse Week Committee 1994

Scone Horse Week Committee 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

The Scone Horse Week concept emerged from the already established Scone Thoroughbred Week in the late 1970s. The latter was based on two days Scone Thoroughbred Sales (Monday/Tuesday) and two days Scone Cup Races (Wednesday/Thursday) begun initially in 1947. This model was extraordinarily successful and continues today albeit the sales have diminished in stature and were not held at Scone in COVID-contaminated 2020.

The Horse Week Committee was arguably at its zenith in 1994 with a very wide and influential cross section of the community intimately involved. I believe it is much more difficult today to attract a truly viable volunteer committee?

Scone Race Club Opening Day @ Satur Track Friday18th November 1994

Scone Race Club Opening Day @ Satur Track Friday18th November 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

As depicted in the Featured Image new records were established on this day. All things considered everything went off very smoothly.

Continue reading →

Scone Race Club: Official Opening of Satur Racetrack 1994

Scone Race Club: Official Opening of Satur Racetrack 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

As recorded by the late Harley Walden in his seminal “The Spirit Within”: ‘Scone’s Racing History’ this was one of the great occasions in the history of the sport, club, township and district marking the culmination of historical achievement in the 150 year long evolutionary process. There were many bumps along the way but the final product is superb. It guarantees longevity for the ages. This was not always the case?

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: https://sconevetdynasty.com.au/gold-gold-gold/

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

Continue reading →

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.

Continue reading →

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.