We had a roll up of thirty-eight (38) for this event (40 for lunch – included two guests) which included one (1) new member (Harley Storch) & two (2) visitors (Terry Gabbett & Dean Purssell) – welcome Harley, Terry & Dean.
All up including the Tweed Heads Group we had a total of sixty-five (65).
As we all know, sometimes the best of plans come unstuck. On this occasion we were anticipating a travel time each way to Redcliffe of around two & a quarter hours. However, after encountering a major accident on the highway just short of Helidon (requiring a diversion back to Withcott & along Flagstone Creek Road to Gatton) as well as heavy traffic, fog & rain we were lucky to be only three quarters of an hour behind schedule when we arrived.
The nett result was that we had to forgo our guided tour of the facilities.
On arrival we went straight to the practice oval & observed the players running through their training drills. There was a small crowd in attendance apart from our groups competing for dry spots out of the rain to observe the players training. On completion of their training, Coach Wayne Bennett brought the players over & invited us to interact with them. This was well received by all members as we were able to chat on a one-to-one basis with the players & some of our members had their photos taken with the players.
Following lunch, members birthdays falling in June & July were acknowledged & celebrated in our usual way Viz. June: Ray Andersen, Peter Aylward, Ron Bathurst, Tim Blades, Peter Cavanagh, John Cutler, Keith Hoffman, Michael McGoldrick, John Schmidt, Kerry Smith, Terry Sullivan, Peter Taylor & Bob Whittaker. July: Steven Berghofer, Lance Chilcott, Warren Goodhew, John O’Connor, Terry Parker, Kelsley Schelberg, Jon Schwartz & Pat Sullivan.
Next up Bobby Jones (president of the Dolphins Club) carried out an interactive presentation which included a Q & A session. Bobby provided us with a bit of history of the club, talked about several past players in their pre-NRL era as well as players recruited for next year – this was very well received by members.
To cap the day off Rowdy Reid auctioned a dolphins jersey signed by all players & donated by Russell Mauch with the proceeds of the auction to be donated to the successful bidder’s charity of choice. The successful bidder was Tom Bourke from the Gold Coast (member of the Tweed Heads Group).
Special thanks to all who contributed to making this another safe & enjoyable event for all attendees, including Russell Mauch, Warwick Dingle & Damian O’Rourke for organizing this event; Michael Bourke & Russell Mauch for looking after our finances & name badges including receipting & banking of surplus cash; Peter Thompson for his usual gig of ensuring we all get on & off the coach safely at each stop; Warwick Dingle for ensuring we were all accounted for before our coach departed again after each stop; Ron Lewis & Eric Canning for attending to our hydration needs along with the loading & unloading of the coach; Bob Whittaker supported by Denis McCarthy for their gig as our first aid officers; Jan Neal for making our much appreciated birthday cake (2 cakes on this occasion to cater for the extra numbers); Annalise Beech & kitchen staff for providing & serving our cupper & lunch; Warwick Dingle & Russell Mauch for cutting up & serving our birthday cake; Wayne Bennett & the football players for so generously giving of their time to come & interact with us (obviously, the highlight of our visit); Bobby Jones for his interesting presentation; Russell Mauch for his most generous donation of a Dolphins Jersey; Rowdy Reid for conducting a very colorful auction; &, last but not least Nick Peters for transporting us to & from Redcliffe safely along with coming up with a safe alternate route to by-pass the Warrego Highway Accident Site.
Based on the written & verbal feedback I have received along with my observations on how our two groups mixed & interacted at the training oval & over lunch I have no hesitation in declaring this another successful event enjoyed by all attendees from both groups.
To conclude, for your information I have outlined below the events we have shared since the inception of the Tweed Heads Group in 2015 –
- 2015 Boat ride on the Brisbane River – Tweed Heads Group Organised.
- 2016 Guided Tour of RAAF Amberley Aviation Heritage Centre – Men for All Seasons Group Organised.
- 2017 Guided Tour of the Commonwealth Games Facilities on the Gold Coast – Tweed Heads Group Organised.
- 2018 Guided Tour of a Camel Dairy at Harrisville – Men for All Season’s Group Organised.
- 2019 Guided Tour of the Tramway Museum, Brisbane – Tweed Heads Group Organised.
- 2020 Cancelled due to COVID-19.
- 2021 Guided Tours of the QANTAS Pilot Training Centre & Wellcamp Airport – Men for All Season’s Group Organised.
- 2022 Guided Tour of Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane – Tweed Heads Group Organised.
- 2023 Guided Tour of Dolphins Rugby League Club Facilities, Redcliffe – Men for All Season’s Group Organised.
Planned for July 2024
Guided Tour of Brisbane Ports – Tweed Heads Group to Organise.
Dick 8th July 2023