From the opening rays of brilliant sunshine bursting across the early morning greens of Forster Tuncurry Golf Course, it was obvious to all and sundry that this event would more than exceed our greatest expectations.
As the hypnotic fragrance of bacon and eggs lashed the senses and drew our golf-club-wielding warriors to the kick-off meeting point, we gathered for a group photograph then saddled up our golf buggies and took off to indulge ourselves on these stunningly beautiful Mid North Coast fairways.
Around four hours and five thousand laughs later, over 40 buggies sojourned back to the clubhouse to share war stories, and partake in the lunchtime festivities orchestrated by our MC Mick Stone.
Once a hearty plate of delicious Forster/Tuncurry delights had been ‘woofed down’, Mick entertained our near 200 event guests with humorous anecdotes and comical analysis pertaining to some of our seated (and good humoured) rugby league players. Our MC then applied an appropriate and respectful tone as he acknowledged those players that had passed in the last 12 months.
The mood then kicked up a beat as it was announced there were at least 8 internationals present in the room, as well as a plethora of high-profile players… with most keen to have a yarn on the microphone, once ref Mick made the call. Without exception, players used to running on and passing the ball with pinpoint precision, were now tossing around gag after gag, which went down a treat with our more-than-appreciative audience.
Of note was the hilariously ‘raw’ experience shared by Robbie McCormack, when, in his playing prime, it was made clear to him in no uncertain terms that he had just been tackled by NSW Legend Tommy Raudonikis.
Manly great Johnny Gibbs was then interviewed by Penrith/North Sydney Bears favourite Graeme Jennings, who trawled deep into John’s playing and media experiences… guaranteeing those that hadn’t cracked a laugh until now, had no excuse!
Then it was time to give our ribs a break as Family of League National Wellbeing Manager Roxanne Moates articulated exactly why we were all at this event, and the tremendous impact this foundation has on the lives of those in the rugby league community needing a hand.
Roxanne’s clarion call was the perfect ‘pep talk’ to inspire participants in the following rugby league memorabilia auction. Auctioneer Charlie Haggett took bids from all over the field and inspired those with pockets to go deeper and longer… making this day a real winner for wellbeing financial support! Tasked with selling a raft of league goodies, from wine, golf balls, signed footballs, right across to signed/framed pictures as well as jerseys, this end of the clubhouse was busier than the loading dock of an Amazon warehouse!
Once all was done and dusted, our more-than-entertained guests made their way to their various Friday night destinations, comforted in the knowledge that this absolutely brilliant day would also provide solutions for those in desperate need.
Thanks to Brian Atherton and the Family of League Mid North Coast Committee for your combined energy and expertise displayed throughout this event.