In spite of a deeply depressing footy season for Tiger supporters, spirits were momentarily restored at this highly entertaining lunch.
Rex was back and in fine form. Greg Champion crooned and strummed his way through a program of Tiger themed songs including a special rendition of “Kathleen” in honour of our guest of honour, Kathleen Dunne. 89 year old Kathleen, Tiger supporter since 1947, had rocketed to media fame following her spirited welcome to new senior coach Damien Hardwick at the media conference announcing his appointment earlier in the week.
We also paid tribute to recently retired Tiger champion Joel Bowden and were wonderfully entertained by our special “Boys From The Bush” guests.
Mike Perry welcomed everyone in his customary way, introduced Rex who conducted a spirited interview with Tommy Hafey about his days in the bush and his triple premiership success with Shepparton. Tommy spoke with his usual passion and it was clear how pivotal the “bush” experience was to his later success at Punt Road.
Inimitable auctioneer Phil DeFegely coaxed maximum contributions for the auction items which included a genuine Akubra hat signed by all the special guests, a terrific ‘69 premiership item (the 40th anniversary of that wonderful day in 1969) and a beautiful montage of Joel Bowden’s playing career, signed by Joel (and part auctioned by Joel!).
Barry Richardson, the boy from Barnawatha, related how being offered the number 17 jumper by Jack Dyer clinched his signature.
Johnny Northey recalled the 1995 semi final win over Essendon as his finest as coach of the Tigers.
Eric Leech reminded everyone where Tyntynder is and John Perry spoke fondly of his family connection with the famous Strangs.
Joel Bowden won the hearts of all the ladies with his tribute to the silent support of the Mums, sisters and girlfriends/wives of AFL players.
Phil Egan spoke with feeling about his Aboriginal origins and the positive affect of former Carlton great John James.
David Honybun delivered a geography lesson in pointing out where Coleambally is located and reminded the great Tommy Hafey of a visit to the Honybun farm.And Scotty Turner nominated his best match as the ’95 semi final win and his best coach as Swooper Northey. He also has a young boy showing real promise with Ararat.
Once again the food and service at Zinc was exemplary and the Yalumba wines the perfect accompaniment. With the support of the FP&OA and the RFC event staff lead by Kristi Ogston and Kaliste Fordham, the THC kicked another major for the mighty Tigers.
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The Tommy Hafey Club 2020 event program will be announce early in the New Year.