Toc. Bloods reunion this weekend

June 06, 2018

Gayle Blakey (left) and Jan Campbell at the Tocumwal Information Centre.

The players of the first under 17s Tocumwal football team to ever win a premiership will gather for a 40th reunion in Tocumwal this weekend.

Your correspondent contacted Greg Thompson, the club historian to explain why they are celebrating.

He said the the 1978 thirds premiership team will be hosted by the Tocumwal Football Netball Club for the celebration.

The celebration will also commemorate the 1979 grand final team, which had to face Cobram twice — with the first game ending in a draw they played again a week later with Cobram the victors.

‘‘The 1978 premiership is the only Under 17 flag the Bloods have won in the Murray and Picola League eras,’’ Greg said.

‘‘Tocumwal won a junior premiership in a Southern Riverina league in 1946.

‘‘But 1978 and 1979 are the only times Tocumwal has figured in the thirds grand final.’’

The 1978 team was coached by Ron Campbell, who was able to get the best out of his team and was famous for his ‘four letter words’ — ‘must’ and ‘team’.

‘‘The 1978 team scraped into the final four and then won its two knockout finals against Nathalia, defeated the top team Cobram in the preliminary final before defeating red-hot favourites Deniliquin in hot conditions at Tocumwal in the grand final,’’ Greg recalls.

‘‘The Bloods were a big team and prevailed in a hard fought and low scoring game by one goal, 5.5 (35) to 4.5 (29).

‘‘In a nail-biting last quarter, Deniliquin attacked in waves but the Bloods held on to a narrow lead until the final siren.

‘‘Best players were Patrick Allen (centre half back), Stephen Lawrence (ruck), Stephen Haynes (back pocket) and captain Brian Taylor (centre).

‘‘Tocumwal then finished second in 1979 under the coaching of Rob Crow behind an undefeated Cobram.

‘‘The two sides played a draw in the last round of the season but Cobram prevailed by 11 points in the second semi final.

‘‘Tocumwal ran away in the second half over Nathalia in the preliminary final to book a grand final berth.

‘‘The grand final was drawn with the Bloods forcing a late behind to tie the game.

‘‘The game was a see-sawing affair with both sides set for victory at different times in the last quarter and reports suggested it was fitting that it was a draw as both sides played a good standard of football and no side deserved to lose. Cobram were held goalless in two of the quarters. Scores were 4.6 (30) apiece.’’

Best players for Tocumwal in that game were Ron Watt (centre), Tony Hughes (ruck-rover), Tim McLaurin (CHF), Ron Watt (centre), captain Stephen Haynes (ruck rover) and Patrick Allen (CHB).

Greg said with a draw in those days there was no extra time.

Instead, a replay was held a week later at Tocumwal on ‘‘a very wet and water-logged ground in front of a crowd of 1000 people’’.

‘‘Cobram were able to kick two early goals with the wind which proved the difference as they won 3.8 (26) to 1.5 (11),’’ Greg said.

‘‘Best players were Tony Hughes (ruck rover), Ron Watt (centre ), Pat Allen (CHB) and Tim McLaurin (centre half forward).

‘‘The replayed grand final is famous for a fracas on the pavilion side of the ground where the gutters were full of water and there were several attempted drownings — luckily all survived.’’

Passionate Tocumwal supporter Lorna Haynes was upset that her “lovely Tocumwal boys” were under assault and tried to even the score with her umbrella!!

Interestingly Cobram played Tocumwal for five games in a row including two drawn matches — last round, second semi, two grand finals and then in the first round in 1980.

Nineteen of the 29 players who played in the grand finals went on to play firsts football for the Bloods.

Two players from these teams went onto play VFL/AFL football — Ron Watt (Geelong) and Tony Hughes (Sydney Swans).

The former players will be meeting at Kelly’s Pub on the Friday night for a casual catch up, and will then have breakfast at the clubrooms on Saturday morning.

It is going to be a very laid back weekend.


What a great effort from the students of Sacred Heart School with their play ‘The Adventures of Captain Starblaster’.

Many hours of individual work learning lines and songs really showed in the fun presentation.

Thumbs up to all the parents and grandparents who have supported their children throughout this learning activity, for attending the two shows the children put on and for providing a delicious supper.


Last week, Sacred Heart principal Pat Boake attended a principal’s retreat with some amazing speakers.

John Angotti is a full time music missionary who travels throughout many parts of the world providing inspirational music and faith witness to all ages through concerts, workshops, retreats, missions, conferences and worship. He is originally from Clarksburg, West Virginia, and now resides in Franklin, near Nashville, Tennessee.

He is a graduate of Chicago Theological Union, West Virginia University and the US Military School of Music, where he was a member of the US Navy Band as lead vocalist.

John last visited the Wagga diocese in April 2016 for the Nourish2Thrive Conference.

Another speaker was Fr Tony Gittins who is a widely experienced missionary pastor and Professor of Theology and Culture at the Catholic Theological Union since 1984.

Born in Manchester, England, and ordained in 1967, Fr Gittins has taught, offered workshops, and given retreats in more than 35 countries.

He has also worked for almost 30 years with homeless women on the streets of Chicago.

Tony last visited our diocese in March 2012.


Monday last week SHS students attended the Year of Youth Festival Tour day at Jerilderie.

This day was led by John Angotti and was an excellent, fun and reflective musical adventure.


Tocumwal Public held its annual School Cross Country Carnival on May 24 at the Tocumwal Recreation Reserve.

It was an exceptional day for running.

All students who participated ran very well, especially given the training leading up to the event.

Congratulations to them on their fine efforts.

Overall champions for the day in each age group were:

●5 Years – Archie Matters and Marlee Burke.

●6 Years – Henry Watmore and Heidi Quick.

●7 Years – Sebastian Pate and Sasha Jones.

●8/9 Years – Tom White and Mia Owen.

●10 Years – Logan White and Alice Bourchier.

●11 Years – Charlie Locke and Tahlia Pate.

●12/13 Years – Joe Barker and Jessica Bennett

The winning house was Wombats.


This Sunday, the Anglican Church at Tocumwal will join with the Uniting and Presbyterian Churches at the Uniting Church in Tocumwal at 9am.

These monthly gatherings on the second Sunday of the month are a way of building unity among the churches and the community.

Last month the meeting at the Presbyterian Church attracted a good sized congregation who enjoyed the company and a wonderful morning tea after the service.

These services are open to everyone. For more information contact your local church.

The Anglican Church services this week at Finley and Jerilderie will be at their usual times.


This weekend’s Foreshore Markets will be the last for the winter.

See you there some time during the morning and early afternoon.

Stallholders will be there early and ready to serve you from 8am on Saturday with a variety of products.

Get a dose of sunshine from the Rotary Juice Stall.

Also have a look out for the furniture items made from wine barrels - very interesting.

And after you have been to the market, take a wander up Deniliquin St for a coffee and cake or some new clothes or home décor, or to do your supermarket shopping.


Are you a fan of Rosie Batty, Australian of the Year 2015?

The Shepparton Chamber of Commerce and Industry is holding a lunch with Rosie Batty on June 21 from 12pm to 2pm at Cellar 47 in High St, Shepparton.

The title of her talk will be ‘Working towards a happier workplace’. All proceeds go to charity.

This lady was the person who really shone the light on domestic violence.


If you have been watching television during Bowel Cancer Month your would have seen quite a few advertisements on the matter.

The main message is use the test kits and mail it off for results.

Early detection could save your life.

Buy a test kit or ask at your local doctor’s surgery and get cracking as per the instructions in the pack.


The volunteer group to be highlighted this week is the bunch of ladies who are manning the Tocumwal Visitor Information Centre.

Since the previous lessees elected not to renew their contract recently, the volunteers have been filling the shifts to keep the info side of the business going.

The volunteers meet and greet visitors to our area.

The Tocumwal Visitor Information Centre is the only shire info centre staffed to do this very important task, and it shows in how many people come into the centre for help with how to find accommodation, camping and caravan sites and where to get food and coffee as well as directions to other areas in the shire.

As well as dispensing information to visitors, the volunteers fly the flags on the poles outside the centre.

The centre has only about 15 volunteers to cover daily shifts and some are going north for the winter and this will leave the centre short and opening days may need to be curtailed.

A few new or returning former volunteers could fix this problem.

Meeting and greeting visitors is a very interesting job and can be for half a day, a day or more. It’s a great way for newcomers to find out more about the area while working with long term local residents.

Get in touch with Gale Blakey or Gail Horan, or call onto the centre before 3pm daily.


Social secretaries and publicity officers of not-for-profit organisations may publicise their function or work through Toc Tells.

Can Anne Jones on 58743424 or email [email protected]

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