Over the years many members of the community from have participated with great enthusiasm in their sporting endeavours.
Council endeavours to promote a healthy lifestyle and active participation in sports by providing sports facilities and infrastructure.
This has been the cases locally, nationally and in many cases, internationally. Many years ago Cooma-Monaro Shire Council established the Monaro Sports Gallery in the outer vestibule of the Council Chambers at 81 Commissioner Street, Cooma.
No new names had been added to the gallery for many years until several residents competed in the Winter Olympics of 2010 in Vancouver, Canada.
Following these Olympics a celebration was held on the 10th of April 2010 and Apex Park in Sharp Street was renamed Apex Achievement Park and a plaque recognising these participants installed.
The need was also seen to provide an avenue for new inductees into the Monaro Sports Gallery. The Monaro Sports Gallery Selection Policy was adopted in July 2012 and as new nominations are accepted will be updated.
Andrew was born on 8 August 1997. He grew up in Bredbo where he attended Bredbo Public School and then Monaro High School. Andrew is into his second year as an apprentice carpenter. From a young age Andrew loved riding bikes and motorbikes.
He followed his brother into downhill mountain bike racing at the age of 10.
Since then Andrew has been U15, U17 and U19 Australian National Champion and five times National Series Champion.
In 2013, at the age of just 16, Andrew won the NSW State Series and Championships in Elite Men. This was following on from his great form at his first ever international race, Crankworx in Whistler, where Andrew took the win in the Canadian Open DH in 16 – 18 Men.
In December 2013 the inaugural Australian Open was held at Thredbo as part of the Cannonball Festival. Andrew won Pro Men in a field containing multiple World Cup riders, taking home the biggest ever prize money for an Australian mountain bike race. Andrew retained his 2013 Australian Open Champion title by winning again in 2014.
Andrew represented Australia at the 2014 Junior World Championships in Norway placing 13th and was named as a finalist in the Cycling Australian Junior Mountain Bike Cyclist of the Year awards in 2014.
Just recently Andrew won the 2015 Junior Oceania Championships in Toowoomba and on the same weekend also became 2014/15 Junior National Series Champion. Andrew competed in the 2015 Downhill National Championships in Bright and won the Junior category. These results will see Andrew again selected to represent Australia at the World Championships at Andorra, Spain in September 2015.
Ben was born in Cooma on 30 July 1985 and attended Cooma North Primary School and Monaro High School. Ben started Skiing from a very young age with his parents John and Sheila and two older sisters Melanie and Claire. He competed in his first cross country ski race with the state wide interschool competition when he was in Kindergarten. At 12 years of age Ben started attending training camps with the NSW Cross Country Ski Team with Coach, Nick Almoukov.
2001 At 15 he won his first Junior National title against skiers up to 21 years of age in Perisher Valley.
2002 to 2005 Ben competed in 4 World Junior Championships whilst concurrently competing at a senior level.
2003 At 17 he won his first National Senior Australian Championship and qualified for the 2003 World Championships in Italy.
2004 Ben was recognised by the Cooma Australia Day Committee and received the Young Citizen Award. 2
003 to 2011 Ben competed in 5 World Championships and close to 100 World Cup events with the Australian National Cross Country Ski Team.
2010 Ben qualified and competed at the Olympic Games having his best result in the Team Sprint event.
Ben was very fortunate to have either raced or trained in about 25 different countries before turning 21. His most memorable achievement was in 2005 when he became the first junior, to win a World Loppet Event (Marathon Ski Race) at the Kangaroo Hoppet, a 42km Race in Falls Creek.
His favourite event was in the World Loppet Event in St Moritz, Switzerland at the 2010 Engadine 42km Race where he placed 11th out of 12,500 skiers and after 1 hour 38 minutes of racing was only 20 seconds behind the winner and recent Olympic Champion, Dario Colonga.
Ben now lives in Manly, Sydney and is married to 2014 Winter Olympian, Sami Kennedy-Sim. Ben has traded the snow for the surf but still enjoys coming home and having a ski race on the Perisher Cross Country Trails.
Josh was born in Canberra on 25th May 1995 and move to Nimmitabel in 1999. Josh attended Nimmitabel Primary School and Monaro High School. He was enrolled in Learn to Swim classes with Michelle Swim School in Cooma and eventually joined the Cooma Swim Club and started to attend squad with Michelle’s Swim School at the Cooma Festival Swimming Pool.
Josh’s Major Achievements:
2011 – Bronze Medal, Australian Age Multi Class Swimming Championships, Canberra 15 to 16 year old boy 50 meter Freestyle;
2012 – SNSW State Record for 17 year old boy 100 meter Freestyle s14 multi class;
2013 – NSW All Schools Sports Association State Record for Boys 16 to 19 year old 100 meter; NSW All Schools Sports Association State Record for Boys 16 to 19 year old 50 meter; Swimming Australia - Australian Record achieved in 400 meter Freestyle Mens 17 year old s14 Class 28th April Australian Swimming Championships;
SNSW Short Course County Championships – Gold Medal – 50 meter Freestyle Multi Class;
Australian Age Multi Class Swimming Championships – Adelaide SA – 4 Gold Medals achieved in 16 to 18 years age group – 200 Medley, 400 Freestyle, 50 Fly, 50 Freestyle; Silver Medal 16 – 18 years age group – 100 Freestyle;
Bronze Medal achieved in 16 – 18 years age group – 100 Breast Stroke;
INAS World Swimming Championships, representing Swimming Australia – Noumea – Gold Medal 1500mtrs Open Water, 2 Silver Medals and 4 Bronze Medals;
Australian Schools Swimming Championships, Adelaide, Josh won 8 Gold Medals (5 individual events and 3 relays) from 8 events. Josh set 5 Australian Age multi class records for the 50 & 100 meter Freestyle, 50 meter Butterfly, 200 meter Freestyle and 200 meter Medley races;
Josh was presented with two certificates by School Sports Australia for achieving Australian Championship Records at the meet;
2014 – Australian Open Water Multiclass 5km Silver Medal;
Australian Open Swimming Championships – Commonwealth Games Selection Trials – Bronze Medal 400 meter Freestyle multi class, 3rd in 200 meter Freestyle Time Trial for s14 multiclass – Selected for Australia Commonwealth Games Team – Glasgow 2014;
Brazil Para Sport Championships – 5 Gold Medals for Swimming Australia;
Commonwealth Games, Glasgow, 200 meter Freestyle s14 Para sport event placed 6th in Final.
First Senior representative meet for Australia;
Australian Short Course Swimming Championships, Adelaide, 1 Gold Medal, 2 Bronze Medals. Joshes first Senior Gold Medal.
Owen Russell was born in Adaminaby on 9 October, 1932. He attended the public school at Adaminaby from 1938 until 1947.
Owen worked for the Public Works Department in their soils laboratory. He then met Lindsay Hain who offered him a job running the rural section of Hain and Co. In 1961 the family moved to Berridale and they conducted a mixed business in a general store. They moved back to Cooma in 1966 and Owen went back to work for Hain and Co. for another five years. Owen left Hain and Co. in 1973 and went to work as a storeman with the DMR.
Owen always showed great interest in sport whether it was as a spectator or participant. It all began at Adaminaby in 1950 when he won his first trophy for “A” Grade Billiards at the School of Arts.
Owen spent a few years on the board of the Cooma Ex-Services Club. He had a love for music and was a member of the former Singing Waiters and the Anzac Day choir.
After moving to Cooma he won:
1959 “A” Grade Billiards
1960 “A” Grade Snooker
1964 “A” Grade Snooker
1966 “A” Grade Billiards Runner Up
1969 “A” Grade Billiards Runner Up
1981 Most Consistent Billiards
1983 Scratch Score – Snooker
1985 Highest Break Billiards (60)
1986 Boyd Anderson Trophy Runner Up
1986 “A” Grade Billiards
1990 Division 1 Snooker
1992 Highest Break Snooker (53)
1993 High Game Scratch Snooker (116)
1994 High Game Scratch Snooker (118)
1995 High Game Scratch Snooker (107)
1998 Winner Snooker
Snooker and Billiards were Owen’s passion. During the late 1970’s the Australian Snooker Champion, Eddie Charlton, visited Cooma and it was arranged for Owen to play him in an exhibition match. Much to the spectators surprise and least of all Eddie Charlton’s, Owen won a frame from Eddie but was beaten 2 – 1 on the day.
Young players were encouraged by Owen in the art of Billiards and Snooker as well as the manners and etiquette required to become a top player.
In the 1980’s Owen took up lawn Bowls and won numerous minor trophies with various partners and also played Pennant bowls.
Rodger was born in Cooma in August 1934 and was educated at Canberra Grammar and The Kings at Parramatta. Rodger has lived on the Monaro for all of his life. He has been competing in and winning championships since the 1950’s.
Rodger’s grandfather arrived in Cooma in 1885. He was a Stock and Station Agent and a Cooma Councillor and owned the building where the ANZ Bank now stands. Roger’s father, Reg Sands, farmed ‘Lake Plain’ on Slacks Creek Road, Cooma where Rodger resides today.
Rodger’s achievements have included:
Winner NSW Field & Game Side by Side Championship as Super Veteran 2006;
A member of the 1969 NSW State Clay Target Shooting Team;
Winner NSW Deauville Doubles Championships, Queanbeyan Gun Club, 1957, partnered by Bill Ryall;
Victor Fraser was born in Cooma on 15 July 1935. During 1948 and 1949 he attended Marist Bros Agricultural College at Campbelltown and while there represented the College in the NSW Rugby League carnival at Wollongong in the 7 stone 7 division and they won.
Despite this early success on the football field Vic had become interested in tennis and first played Country Week Tennis at the age of 18 in Division 1 in 1953.
Vic’s team had their first win in 1958 when they beat Gosford in the final. The team comprised G Bookallil, B Sheridan, L Tunney,
V Fraser with I Mould as reserve. At this stage Vic has not provided full results of his Country Week tennis but he played each year until 1983 and in his words, “winning several times”.
Vic has represented New South Wales in the Veteran Tennis League nine times since 1987 and has played in all states excepting South Australia, as well as in New Zealand. Vic’s team has had considerable success during this time having had four wins and once beaten in the final against another New South Wales team. The four wins included 1989 at Milton Queensland against Queensland, 1990 at Wellington New Zealand against New Zealand, 1993 Domain Tasmania against South Australia and 1996 at Miami Queensland against Queensland.
Vic has also had considerable success locally having won the District singles nine times and being runner up nine times. He has also won the men’s doubles several times and the mixed doubles a number of times including seven times with his wife Daphne. Vic has also had considerable success in single tournaments in the district with wins at Cobargo, Tathra, Thredbo, Berridale, Griffith and Bega. Many wins also in men’s doubles and mixed doubles.
In Veteran Tournaments Vic reached the semi finals of the Australian singles in the over 55 division in 1955 and won the over 60 singles in the ZCT Open in 1997. Also in 1997 Vic competed in the Over 60 division of the Open Singles at Merimbula and lost the final over three sets. Vic has been selected to play in the NSW No:2 Team at Newcastle in 1998 and is also assistant coach to professional coach Greg Brownlow working with beginners.
Helen Theunissen was born at Cooma on 14th June 1966. She attended Cooma Public School, Monaro High School and then Hurlstone Agricultural High School.
Her tertiary education was undertaken at The Catholic College of Education at Castle Hill in New South Wales.
Helen, now a Secondary Mathematics teacher held various teaching positions in New South Wales before travelling overseas. It was in London where she first became interested in Rugby Union while teaching in that city.
Helen began playing for the Wasps Rugby Club in September 1993 and during the next two years the club toured Ireland and France. Whilst in London Helen played two games for the Nomads (women’s equivalent to the Barbarians) against Ireland and The Netherlands.
In 1995 Helen returned to Australia and played for the Australian Capital Territory and then moved to Sydney and played for Warringah in 1996, 1997 and 1998.
In 1995 she was first selected in the Australian team and toured New Zealand for two weeks. Helen was also selected for the Australian teams from 1996 – 1998.
Australia again toured New Zealand in 1997, and then in 1998 travelled to The Netherlands as part of the World Cup Squad. This was the first Women’s World Cup officially sanctioned by the International Rugby Board and the first time Australia had participated.
Helen has many wonderful memories of rugby, but her move from Sydney to Narrandera and subsequent marriage to David Langley necessitated her retirement from rugby after the 1998 season.
Les Thomas of Berridale, although still a Junior in 1997, has competed with a great deal of success in Club, State, ACT and National Competitions in both Junior Grade and Open Age Graded Competitions.
Les was born in Cooma in 1981 and was educated in Berridale and at Monaro High School. Les joined the Snowy River Branch of the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia in 1993 and has been an active shooter since then.
At the time of writing Les holds six National, Australian, State and Territory records.
Following is a sample of these records and achievements:
National Junior Centrefire Rifle Metallic Silhouette Record
Australian Junior Centrefire Rifle Metallic silhouette Record
National Junior Rimfire Rifle Metallic Silhouette Record
1st A Grade 1996 National Centrefire Rifle Metallic Silhouette Championship
1st Junior Grade 1996 National Centrefire Rifle Metallic Silhouette Championship
1st Junior Grade Two Gun (Rimfire & Centrefire) 1996 National Rifle Metallic Silhouette Championship
1st National Junior Rimfire Rifle Metallic Silhouette Postal Shoot. Holder of The Commercial Union National Youth Shoot Perpetual Trophy for 1996
NSW Junior Centrefire rifle Metallic Silhouette Record
ACT Junior Centrefire Rifle Metallic Silhouette Record
ACT Junior Rimfire Rifle Metallic Silhouette Record
1st B Grade 1996 NSW State Centrefire Rifle Metallic Silhouette Championship
Edward Bruce Haslingden was born in Sydney in March 1923. Educated by correspondence then to Canberra Grammar School where he undertook the agricultural courses. Bruce said he tended more towards the sporting environment than the academic; marking nil in the Latin exam and in the same term scored 10 out of 10 in gymnastics. He represented the school in athletics at the Associated Grammar Schools in Sydney, captained the under 16s cricket and played in the first 11 cricket and the first 15 football.
Bruce started skiing with the Cooma Ski Club in 1938 and won his first race on the Kerry Course at the Hotel Kosciusko in 1939. Skiing was interrupted by the war and did not get going again until about 1947 when Cooma Ski Club was reformed b y Dr Harvey Dakin.
Bruce was selected to represent NSW in 1950 and competed in National and Interstate events, however he never won a National event in that year. After what Bruce described as a lucky season in 1951 he was selected to represent Australia at the 1952 Olympic Games in Oslo, Norway.
Bruce was one of the two cross country skiers selected and there were also five alpine skiers in the team. This was the first Winter Olympic team to be sent from Australia and Bruce carried the flag in the Closing Ceremony.
After the games he was invited to compete in the National Ski sports in Sweden, Finland and Germany thus becoming the first Australian to compete in these countries. He continued competitive skiing for the next few years and managed the Australian team in New Zealand in 1953 where he also competed in the Alpine events. In addition he captained the New South Wales team in Interstate competitions.
Bruce was a selector for the 1956 Winter Olympics, served on both the Councils of the NSW Ski Association and the Southern Districts for several years. He continued to ski in cross country events until 1993 when his last International event was the 1993 Engadine Ski Marathon in Switzerland where he was placed 8th in his class, thus ending a long and spectacular skiing career.
Christine commenced air rifle shooting at the age of 13 and it was soon evident that she had a great deal of natural ability for the sport.
In 1985 she became the Junior Champion and the Junior Queen of the Monaro Air Rifle Club. This trend continued through the junior years until she became the Monaro Ladies Champion and later the Monaro Champion. She held this title since 1989.
In 1986 Christine participated in her first Australian Championship where she gained a creditable 2nd in the under 18 Championship.
1987 saw Christine secure 2nd place in the junior ranks of the Australian Championships and in 1988 in 2 separate tournaments in Canberra, Christine won the B Grade ACT Championship and was ACT B Grade Champion in the Bicentennial Games.
In 1990 Christine became the NSW Queen, the NSW B Grade Ladies Champion and the NSW B Grade Champion. In 1991 Christine was awarded Cooma’s Australia Day Award for Sport, then travelled to Canberra to the Australia Day Games and won the Ladies A Grade Championship.
In January 1992 at the Australian Championships Christine was third in the Ladies A Grade Championship and later that year was named the Monaro “Sport Star of the Year”.
At the end of 1992 Christine was selected in the Australian Shooting team and went to the Oceania Games in New Zealand in early 1993 where she won two silver medals, one in the Ladies event and one in the Teams event. Later that year Christine became the ACT Open Champion, the ACT Ladies Champion, the NSW Ladies Champion and was placed third in the NSW Open Championship.
In 1994 Christine won the Australian Ladies Championship and was selected to represent Australia in the World Championships in Italy and then the Commonwealth Games in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Kyrra was born 18th March 1959, without his right leg below the knee. Kyrra was keen to ski from an early age and was very active from the moment he had his first artificial leg fitted.
Kyrra began to race in both alpine and cross country ski races from the age of eight but concentrated mainly on alpine skiing.
He trained with the Perisher Smiggins Ski Racing Club, competing in able-bodied ski races. Kyrra came third in Rudi Wurth Memorial Slalom in 1976 and won the first of many Cooma Ski Club Championships the following year.
Cooma Ski Club played a big part in Kyrra’s life and he was a long term club captain in a period that Cooma Ski Club dominated the Balmain and Perisher Cup club competitions.
Kyrra was involved in the formation of the Australian Disabled Skiers Federation (now Disabled Wintersport Australia) in 1979 and represented Australia in the 1980 Disabled Winter Olympics (now called Paralympics) in Geilo and Norway.
Kyrra competed in both alpine and cross country and finished in the top ten in his three events. Kyrra went on to compete in three more winter Paralympics and two world championships with a best placing of 4th in giant slalom. Kyrra also continued to compete in able-bodied races in Australia and in Europe with a number of victories and top ten finishes at state level.
Kyrra also competed successfully in athletics and swimming, winning over 20 national and 50 state amputee titles. Kyrra competed against able-bodied runners in the fun runs, half marathons and marathons usually finishing in the top ten percent of competitors.
In 1992 Kyrra competed in the Barcelona Summer Paralympics competing against competitors with one arm, in the 5,000m and 10,000m.
Kyrra at one time held world records for leg amputees in 1,500m, 5,000m and 10,000m half marathon and marathon. Kyrra also assisted with the administration, promotion and coaching of disabled sport and was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 1995 and the Australian Sports Medal in 2000.
Jim Flynn arrived in Cooma when he was 5 years old and has resided in Cooma continuously except during the 1939/45 war years.
Jim first became interested in speedboats after being a spectator at Cooma’s 1st Regatta at Lake Eucumbene in 1957. Between 1957 and 1986 Jim competed in many races in a number of different boats but it really wasn’t until he set himself up with a 5m Dancraft tunnel deck mono-hulled boat that he hit the big time.
This boat had a Stock Standard 140 H.P. Johnson Outboard Motor (1632cc) with an adapted 25” Record Propeller and Jim’s racing began in earnest.
From 1984 until he retired from racing in 1995, Jim’s boat, “Rebound”, was unbeaten in its class.
Jim first competed in the Australian Power Boat Association Championships in 1986 and in that first year won the Victorian State Championships at Paynesville with wins in the 1800cc Mono Hull, Open Hull and Super Sports. Other major victories followed including:
1987 and 1988 victories in the Victorian Championships at Laanecoorie Weir and at Lake Eppalock plus a third in 1987 at the Australian Championships at Toukley.
1988 brought major placings in the N.S.W. Outboard Championships at Lake Keepit at Tamworth, victories in 1989 in the N.S.W. Championships at Gosford Aquatic Club and a second in the 2000cc Open Hull at the Australian Outboard Championships at Griffith. Other victories followed in N.S.W. and Australian Championships including ski and race trophies.
During 35 years of racing Jim competed between Rockhampton in Queensland and Glen Maggie Weir in Victoria winning innumerable Point Score Trophies which are awarded to the most consistent competitor. One of Jim’s treasured trophies was won at Lismore and the inscription reads “Outstanding Driver – Jim Flynn – Rebound."
Jeffery Bradley was born at Temora, NSW in 1945. He first “played” bowls at the age of 11 in Temora, practising with his father’s bowls. He was encouraged by his father to play his first game of bowls in the Temora Easter Singles Tournament at the age of 24, following this he took up the game seriously, joining the North Sydney Bowling Club. In 1974 as a member of the Manly Club he won the Club Singles, Triples and Fours Championships.
Joining the Cooma Bowling Club in 1979, soon after moving from Sydney, Jeff first entered the Club Championships in 1980. He was undefeated in Club Singles play during the decade of the 1980’s. His team Championship wins included the Pairs in 1980, 1982, 1983 and 1984, Triples 1983 and Fours 1987.
In Monaro District Championships, Jeff won three Singles, two Pairs and one Triples together with four Champion of Club Champions singles and one Pairs. He also won three Zone 7 Championships.
Highlight of his career was being runner-up in the Australian Singles Championship in 1983, being defeated 31-26 in the final. However, 1985, was probably Jeff’s most successful year in which he won the Club, District, Champion of Club champions and Zone 2 Single Championships, was then beaten 31-30 in the NSW State Championship semi-final and gained selection in the NSW State Side.
Jeff moved to the ACT in 1989 where he attained the No: 10 ranking in Australia. He also regularly represented the ACT in the National Sides Championship.
Louise Gowar, now of Numeralla, was born in Canberra in 1947 and came to live on Monaro in 1978 when she started shooting with the Snowy River Pistol Club of Jindabyne.
By 1981 Lou had gained a position on the NSW Pistol Team and remained with the NSW Team until 1987 when she retired from the sport after being named Australian Ladies’ Air Pistol Champion.
In 1982 Lou gained nomination to the National Team Training Squad and later that year was selected on the Australian Shooting Team which competed at the World Shooting Championships in Venezuela. In 1983 she again represented Australia in the World Airgun Championships in Austria and in 1986 represented Australia in the World Championships in East Germany.
During her time with the NSW and Australian Team Lou won numerous medals and the following is a list of the gold medals won by her:
NSW Winning Team, Ladies Air Pistol (National Championships)
1982 NSW Champion, Ladies Match (State Championships)
1984 ACT Champion, Ladies Air Pistol (ACT Championships)
1984 NSW Champion, Ladies Match (State Championships)
1984 NSW champion, Ladies Air Pistol (State Championships)
1985 Australian Champion, Ladies Match (National Championships)
1986 NSW Winning Team, Ladies Sport Pistol (National Championships)
1986 South Pacific Regional Shooting Championships, Champion, Ladies Match
1986 Australian Winning Team, Ladies sport Pistol and Ladies Air Pistol
1987 Australian Champion, Ladies Air Pistol (National Championships)
In 1984, in conjunction with winning the ACT Ladies Air Pistol Championship Lou was awarded an Australia Day Medal for achievement in Sport by the Australia Day Council.
Claret, the Monaro bred mare who brought fame to the district was owned and bred by the McNee family of “Bulong” Cooma.
Claret was sired by King Pharaoh out of the McNee’s, Delta-bred mare, Sugar Time. It was hoped that the mating would produce a quality show hack but this was not to be. Nor did she show any promise as a race horse like her half-brother, Scotch Tom. It was noticed with interest however, that from when she was a tiny foal, she took great delight in soaring from paddock to paddock – no fence daunted her.
Her career as a showjumper began in 1973 when Victorian Jeff McVean was competing in the Cooma district. Jeff tried Claret over some practise jumps which she handled well and the rest is history. Claret went from her first success in coming in sixth in the County of Cumberland Championships at Castle Hill in 1973 to be one of the best showjumpers in the world.
Claret and Jeff competed with a great deal of success at Royal shows in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne as well as at a host of other venues right around the country.
A tour of New Zealand followed in which the Jeff McVean and Claret combination really distinguished itself. Claret won eight out of the ten Grand Prix events that she competed in and capped it all by winning the richest and most esteemed event in that country – The Wills Horse of the Year Title at Hastings. An invitation to compete in England was the sequel to the Australian and New Zealand successes.
Claret first stunned the English horse world by taking out the 1978 Embassy British Championships at Hickstead over a very long and gruelling course. Following this win, Jeff and Claret were granted an official invitation to compete at the Royal International Horse Show at Wembley, London.
At Wembley they won the most prized award in the world of showjumping – The George V Golf Cup, valued in 1978 at 55,000 pounds sterling. Claret was only tiny, but was all heart.
Peter Payten was born at Cooma on 13 November 1948 and received his secondary education at St Josephs College Sydney.
While at the College, Peter started to show his prowess in a number of sports including being Open Squash Champion, Open Doubles Handball Champion, Open Doubles Tennis Champion, Full back in the First XV Rugby Team, a Member of the Senior Athletics Team, and a Member of the Combined GPS First XI Cricket Team.
While Peter was a great all-round sportsman there is no doubt his first love was Rugby, a game in which he quickly made his mark. He received probably the greatest honour of his sporting career in 1969 when he was selected to play for Australia in the First Rugby Union Test against Fiji. The test was played in Brisbane and at that time Peter became only the second player from this area to gain selection to play for Australia since the Second World War.
His Rugby career, including his time with St Josephs, spanned some twenty years and included the following:
He played Cooma Rugby from 1967 to 1980 Played with Canberra East’s in 1973 He represented ACT Rugby from 1969 to 1973He represented New South Wales Country Firsts from 1969 to 1976 and during this time he played against teams from Victoria, Sydney, Queensland, Tonga, France, Argentina, Wales, Queensland, South Africa and New Zealand. In 1974 Peter toured America, Canada and New Zealand with the NSW Country Firsts
Jean Wolfe (nee Monckton) was born at Manly in 1916. Jean’s father was Hilary Monckton from El Paso, Dalgety and her mother’s family were the Crisps of Ironmungie and Jimenbuen in the Dalgety area.
Jean was educated firstly at Manly and then at Frenscham School at Mittagong where she was sports captain. Jean excelled in a number of sports including tennis, cricket and hockey.
While hockey was he number one sport she also made a name for herself by playing first grade cricket in Sydney where her major talents were with the bat and in the field.
In hockey, Jean was a member of the Sydney Metropolitan Representative Team and from there was selected to play for New South Wales on a number of occasions. These included tournaments in Tasmania and in South Australia.
Following the Adelaide tournament Jean was selected as a member of the All Australian Team for the year of 1939 and in addition, was also selected to play as a member of the All Australia Team for the year of 1939 and in addition, was also selected to play as Right Half as a member of the 1939 Australian Touring Team. This team was scheduled to play against teams representing England, Scotland and Wales in the 4th International Women’s Hockey Association Tournament which was to be held at Bournemouth, England.
As Jean put it, “The team was all ready booted and spurred’ to get on the boat for England when they received a telegram to say the Tournament was cancelled owing to the outbreak of World War II. Great was the disappointment of course and it was a double disappointment for Jean as it meant the end of her representative hockey because of the prolonged years of the war.
Jean returned to Cooma after the war and when hockey commenced on Monaro she coached the Cooma Women’s Hockey Team who managed to win the 1972 Premiership.
Christine Smith was born in Cooma in 1946 and spent most of her childhood near Jindabyne, close to the NSW ski fields. Christine’s ability on the slopes soon became apparent as she was the 1961 NSW Junior Champion skier and in 1962 she came 2nd in the Australian National Open Championships held at Thredbo.
Christine had her first taste of international competition in 1961 when she was selected in the Australian Team to ski against New Zealand.
In 1963 Christine won the Tyrolean Junior Championships in Austria winning both the downhill and the slalom events and was Australian Champion in the giant slalom.
In August 1963 at the very young age of 16 Christine was selected to represent Australia in the 1964 Winter Olympics which were held at Innsbruck in Austria.
Ross Milne, a fellow member of the Olympic team, fell and was killed in his first training run in Austria. Naturally this affected the morale of the team very much but despite this Christine skied admirably and finished in the twenties in both the downhill and the slalom. In one of the combined events Christine set a time never previously bettered by any male or female Australian skier in any Winter Olympics.
After returning from the Olympics Christine competed in the Australian Championships and was named Women’s Champion after winning each event. These were the downhill, the slalom, the alpine combined and the giant slalom. In the giant slalom event she won by almost 10 seconds from her nearest rival.
In 1965 Christine again represented Australia when she competed in the World Skiing Championships at Portillo in Chile. On her return she turned professional and was a leading ski instructor with Andi Krallingers Ski School at Perisher for a number of years
William George Day, affectionately known as Billy was born in 1935 at Padstow NSW. His parents managed the Chalet at Charlotte’s Pass, so it was no surprise that Billy took to the sport of skiing at an early age.
In 1948 at the age of 13 he competed in the National Championships and also in Interstate Team Competitions at Mount Hotham. Regretfully a broken leg incurred by his brother Gordon resulted in the team departing before the competitions were concluded.
In 1949 Billy won his first important race when in the NSW National Championships he won the Slalom from his brother Gordon.
In 1951 he was selected as one of the team to represent Australia in the Inter-Dominion following his third placing in both the National Slalom and Downhill at Falls Creek.
1952 saw Billy selected in Australia’s first official Winter Olympic Team which competed in the Oslo Games. He was then 17 and finished in the middle of the field beating representatives from Argentina, Chile, Belgium, Holland, Greece, Hungary and New Zealand.
In 1954 he won the National Slalom and in 1955 the NSW Downhill.
Billy was selected to represent Australia in the VIIth Winter Olympics held in Cortina, Italy in 1956 and produced results which were a decided improvement on his Oslo performances but regretfully not of sufficient standard to win a medal.
1958 he represented Australia in New Zealand and won the Slalom. Back in Australia he won the Slalom and came second in the Downhill in the National Championships.
1959 saw Billy win the Slalom and the Downhill and the Combined Title and again represented Australia in the 1960 Winter Olympics at Squaw Valley in California.
1964 he was again selected for the Winter Olympics but stepped aside to let a younger skier take his place.
Danny Collman, who was born at Jindabyne on 16 December 1930, was educated at Jindabyne and then Hurlstone Agricultural College. Upon leaving school he began working at the Hotel Kosciusko in the ski-room as an attendant and there began his skiing career. He was a natural skier and it soon became apparent to all that he would become a champion.
Danny represented New South Wales and Australia in many ski events, with considerable success. His first real success was when he won the New South Wales ski jump in 1949 at the age of 19.
Some of Danny’s race results are as follows:
1955 Second in slalom and second comb in NSW Championships. 1956 Second in Snowy Mountain Cup. 1957 Four titles in Australian and NSW Championships. 1958 Third in Australian Downhill Championships, first in NSW Downhill Championships, second in Slalom, first in Snowy Mountains Cup. 1959 Second Australian Downhill Championships. Also a member of the NSW team competing in the interstate championships at Mount Buller. 1960 First in Snowy Mountains Cup. First in Kiandra 100 Years Centenary Race. 1961 Member of Australia’s winning team against New Zealand and first in Kiandra Centenary race.
Danny was also a noted Mountain Guide and spent many years with the Snowy Mountains Authority as a Hydrographer. Among the duties of a Hydrographer were measuring stream flows and snow depths right across the mountains in all types of weather.
Mirrabooka, a born and bred Monaro horse, did Australia proud when he was a member of the equestrian team which performed so well at the Rome Olympics in 1960.
Mirrabooka, aboriginal for the Southern Cross, was the result of a breeding between Idex, a thoroughbred stallion owned by Tom Shanley of Adaminaby and a thoroughbred mare owned by Jim Sherlock of “Kia-Ora” Cooma. He was foaled at “Kia-Ora” in the early 1950’s.
Jim had broken in the horse when it was a three year old and three months later he won two hack awards and a championship award on him at the Cooma Show.
In 1957 Mirrabooka was sold to Neale Lavis for one hundred pounds and a partnership between horse and rider was immediately formed.
At the Sydney Royal in 1959 Mirrabooka and Lavis performed exceptionally well in the dressage and then at Royal Melbourne they won both of the two-day events and came second in the three-day event. These successes ensured their selection in the Olympic Team. The team of riders and horses sailed together for six weeks to London in a cargo ship and then flew to Rome just 24 days prior to the Olympic events. It was necessary for the team to ride their horsed back and forwards through Rome to the training grounds each day.
The Australian team of Laurie Morgan, Bill Roycroft and Neale Lavis won gold in the Teams Event. Morgan won the individual gold medal in the three-day event, while Lavis aboard Mirrabooka won the silver medal. Neale described Mirrabooka thus: “He was so tractable and understanding. He had a great temperament. He was so careful and gentle and above all he would always try his heart out. I was offered ten thousand pounds for him after the Olympics but would never sell”.
Myrtle Olive Boate was born at Numeralla on 18 January 1918 and only a few years after that commence playing tennis.
Myrtle does not regard herself as a great tennis player but with her game of wits she could always worry good players. Others say she is one of the gamest players ever to grace the courts at the NSW Country Week Tennis Carnivals and at the age of 78 is still playing and play well. She did not attend her first Country Week until 1954 but has not missed one year since that time.
This means that Myrtle has now played in 42 consecutive years at White City. During that time she has played in every Division l starting in A Grade, which is now Division One, and has won Country Week eight times. Because of her long association with Country Week special presentations have been made to Myrtle firstly to celebrate 30 years of continuous playing and latterly to celebrate 40 years of playing. For the first six years, Myrtle played with the Berrima Team in A Grade but dropped back to B Grade when Monaro formed a team in the late 1950’s.
Country Week has not only been Myrtle’s interest in tennis as she has had much success right throughout New South Wales and Victoria. Some of these successes include:
Won Monaro District Singles six years in succession – the only time she entered.
Won Cobargo Open Singles six years in succession.
Won Bermagui Open Singles three years in succession to win the O’Shea Cup outright.
Won the Bega Open Singles.
Myrtle has won a trophy from every place she has played but not every tournament she has played in.
Myrtle has also been President and Secretary at different times of the Monaro Hardcourt Tennis Association and has played in every competition since the Association was formed in 1957.
In 2015, at the age of 97, Myrtle is still playing tennis at local level.
Llodes Moriarty was born at Queanbeyan in 1911 and her early life was spent in Goulburn. In 1925 she moved to Mosman and spent the rest of her schooldays at Redlands where she learnt to play hockey and started off on a wonderful career in that sport.
On leaving school she joined the Gumnuts Hockey Club which for many years was the premier team in Sydney.
In 1933 Llodes played with the New South Wales Touring Team which went to Suva where they played three matches, two of which they won and drew the other.
In 1938 she played with the New South Wales team against an English touring team but she would prefer that the result of that match is better not mentioned.
Also in 1938 Llodes represented New South Wales in Tasmania where a number of matches were played with much success.
Llodes hockey career was not restricted to playing the game as in addition to playing she was also Assistant Secretary of the New South Wales Women’s Hockey Association in 1949, Secretary of the Country Section in 1950, Selector for Country team to play City and then Secretary of the New South Wales Women’s Hockey Association in 1951.
For many years Llodes coached S.C.E.G.G.S. Darlinghurst and also briefly Crown Street Girls High and North Sydney Girls High. Also she spent ten days in Narrandera coaching their club and school teams.
In 1956 she retired from hockey and came to live in Cooma.
Sidney Noel Bottom, better known as Noel Bottom, was born in Cooma on 5 December 1926 and died on 6 March 1986 at the age of 59.
Noel was a rough-rider excelling in all facets of the sport and was recognised as one of the gamest men ever to throw his leg over a horse. While his preferred aspect of the sport was open horse buck-jumping he also excelled at bareback, calf roping and bull dogging.
Noel won his first Australian Buck-jumping Championship at the Cooma Showgrounds on Australia Day in 1946.
Noel rode in all events authorised by the Australian Rough-riders Association and was All-Round Australian Champion in years 1949, 1950 and 1952. The Championship was based on the most points scored in all events over the calendar year and not just on one days ride.
Noel was made a life member by Hoof and Horns and used to contribute stories to that magazine on a frequent basis.
In the years following his retirement from actual riding he was a renowned judge of the sport and travelled widely to the many events.
Harold Walker was born in Sutherland NSW in 1915 and his sporting prowess was evident from his earliest school days.
Tennis and cricket during the Primary years at Sutherland were Harold’s chosen sports and while at Sydney Boys High School he played in the winning Cricket XI in his final year.
During his time at Wagga Wagga Agricultural College, rugby, a game he soon excelled in, was added to his expertise.
From Wagga Wagga, Harold went to Sydney to become articled to his Father’s law firm and resumed surfing, becoming a foundation member of North Cronulla Surf Lifesaving Club and also continued to play cricket and football.
His rugby skills soon came under the notice of the St George Rugby Union Club and he became a permanent member of St Georges First Grade Fifteen playing in the positions of wing or centre three quarter.
During 1938, which was Harold’s best footballing year, he represented New South Wales against both Victoria and Queensland and was a reserve for New South Wales against New Zealand.
In the NSW Rugby Union News of June 1938 Harold was described thus - “A tall and robust centre three quarter who must be one of the unluckiest players. He has received a number of injuries but is displaying as much skill and enthusiasm as ever”.
When his Father’s firm was transferred to Cooma, Harold moved to Cooma also and was soon showing his expertise in cricket, golf and in later years, bowls, a sport that he enjoyed and played very well. During his time in Cooma he was also President of the Golf Club for a period and Secretary/Manager of the Cooma Bowling Club.
Ronald Biilman, reputed to be one of Monaro’s best sportsmen, was born at Berridale in 1908.
He spent much of his life in Cooma and for a number of years attended Monaro Grammar School in Cooma before completing his education at All Saints College, Bathurst. While at Bathurst he made his name in a variety of sports including cricket, boxing, athletics, tennis and rugby.
He was a member of the touring Australian Rugby Union Team to South Africa in 1933 being the only country player to be selected for the tour. He played five eight and became the first Australian to score points in international competition between the two countries. He was acknowledged as a brilliant player in attack and was a deadly tackler. He represented Western District against New Zealand All Blacks and also against a New Zealand university team where he made big impressions.
In cricket he played in representative teams against a New South Wales Eleven and in scoring 35 in one match hit four boundaries from the bowling of Don Bradman. In 1929 he played against an English Eleven comprising such greats as Larwood, Hobbs, Leyland, Duckworth and Tate.
He excelled in Country Week cricket and in one match hit fourteen fours in a score of 106 against Durban while in South Africa with the Wallabies.
In 1937 while back on Monaro in company with Eddie Rheinberger from Tathra, Clarrie Butler and Carl Massey from Cooma, and Jim Ingram from Bombala, Ron won the A Grade tennis title at Country Week.
Mark Robinson was no stranger to cycling when he won his first race at fifteen. Seven brothers, Fred, Arty, Jim, Tom, Reg and Bill had all been good cyclists, and were some of the best riders when cycling was the most popular sport on Monaro.
Mark’s first race was on the Cooma Showground on an old bike he had bought for two pounds. Mark’s next bike was a racing model he received as a gift from Jim Ryall and on his first outing at Berridale he won the half mile, the two mile and the five mile scratch.
In 1903, Mark, along with his brother Tom, entered the Goulburn to Sydney race and despite not having trained, and knowing nothing about riding in long races managed to finish the course.
In 1905 four of the Robinson boys entered for the Goulburn with Mark emulating the feat of his brother Tom, who had won in 1904, by winning in a very close finish. Approaching the end of the race it appeared that either Tom or Mark could win but Mark prevailed.
In 1908 the locals entered again. Mark was contract fencing at Rosedale. It was a bad snow year, and the only training he could do was 2,000 skips in the hut every night, followed by four rounds with four of the men (one after the other) and a rub down.
When he came to join the others he found he was the only man who had finally accepted. “Well”, Mark thought, “I’ve done too much skipping and boxing to miss out. I’m going in”. He did exactly that and won for the second time. The “Highway” was unsealed at that time and the stretch between Bowral and Mittagong was thick with red dust but it was on this track the Mark made his move and with his hard muscles driving the pedals in perfect rhythm, young Mark Robinson, the pride of Monaro, went on to win the gruelling 131 mile race in six hours and fifteen minutes and left the others to sort out the minor placings.
Tom Robinson was one of the seven cycling brothers from Cooma, who along with the Larcombe Family had the predominant role in Australian road cycling in the early 1900’s. By 1908 the Robinson and Larcombe families had either won, or gained fastest times in most of the major races in New South Wales and Victoria.
These included the two biggest events the “Goulburn” and the “Warrnambool”. In his first ride in the world-renowned Goulburn to Sydney race in 1903, Tom won the trophy for being the fastest country rider.
In 1904 Tom again entered the “Goulburn” and this time he won by six minutes from the crack New Zealand rider, Jack Arnst. It was a lonely ride for the country based cyclist as he had to make his own way for the entire journey, apart from a few miles at the start.
Interviewed after the race, he said, “The road was in dreadful condition and I had to dismount three times rather than risk a fall, I consider that I was lucky to escape puncturing”.
It is difficult for us today to visualise what the riders of yesteryear had to contend with. At the turn of the century there was very little motorised transport and the horse drawn vehicle was the main means of transport. The wheels of the coaches and carts were shod with large iron rims that left sunken edges in the mud and gravel, which cyclist had to avoid if he was to remain upright. The hills were much steeper as the roads were built with gangs using only picks and shovels. Another pitfall was the absence of bridges over creeks and streams leaving only stony culverts to be negotiated.
In the 1905 “Goulburn”, Tom and his brother Mark fought out the finish with Mark winning, while Tom, who had a mishap near the finish, had to be content with walking his bicycle across the line in eighth place.
Stanley Love, one of seventeen brothers and sisters of Samuel and Elizabeth Love was born at “Sunny Corner”, Cooma in the early 1900’s.
He went to school at “Fern Glen” Carlaminda and left school at an early age when he obtained a job with the Railways at Cootamundra. While at Cootamundra he developed a lot of boxing skills and on return to Cooma he undertook most of his boxing at a building where the Cooma-Monaro Express office is today.
Stan boxed with Jimmy Sharman’s travelling boxing troop for some time and then he was taken under the wing of Ted Riordan who was a Manager as well as a noted Fight Promoter.
Stan drew a house of 210 pounds for one of his fights in Cootamundra which was considered to be an amazing purse at that time. He then went on to fight Harry Collins the then Lightweight Champion of Australia at Leichardt Stadium but was beaten. Soon after he fought and beat an American named Allan and then went on to defeat Eugene Voltaire at Brisbane Stadium.
One of Love’s most important and eventful fights was at Wagga against Billy Grimes. Grimes at that stage held no less than three Australian Titles, and Love fought him for the Lightweight Championship of Australia. Regrettably Love suffered from a peculiarity whereby he involuntarily nodded his head on occasions.
It was in the 17th round of the 20 round fight that the sensation occurred. Love and Grimes were in a clinch when the referee saw Love’s head nodding. The referee took this to be a nod of submission on Love’s part and promptly awarded the fight to Grimes.
The crown went wild, particularly in view of the fact that in the previous three or four rounds Love had completely outboxed Grimes and appeared all set for a win.