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Herewith a couple of photographs of the Aussie Rules teams that we put together in Lae in the early 1960’s. There was no actual competition in Lae, but we used to rake up enough players in Lae and from the surrounding towns to challenge Port Moresby, where there was a regular competition. Those from Madang and Goroka were flown in courtesy of Reg Ansett and we also had one or two who came in from the outstations. I seem to recall we had one game each year, one in Lae and the next year in Port Moresby.
Herewith some background on the players (of those that I remember). Maybe some other viewers can fill in on the others or correct any errors I may have made.
Harry Bellette - BPs Lae; Gordon Farrelly - plumbing business, Lae; Peter Broadhurst - Patrol Officer; Arvi Pitkanen - Comworks, Lae; Noel Blair – Govt Stores, Lae; Tom Collins - Govt Stores, Lae; Emil Endor I think was based in Madang; also Will Muskens; Fred Hill P&T, Lae; Hugh Maher - Treasury, Lae; Greg Goudie - businessman, Lae and Patron; Alan Stevens, I think was with DCA; Horrie Niall of course, was the District Commissioner; Bob Jones - Comworks, Lae;
Bob Christiansen - Treasury, Goroka; Bill Hannam worked for Gordon Farrelly; Tom Duncan - P&T, Lae; Sam Leigh - Education; Dave Tarrant - Govt Stores, Lae; Denis Molan - Bank of NSW, Lae.
Gordon Farrelly was a top rugby player and rugby league coach (he was our fitness coach) and Bill Hannam also was a fine league player, both with Comworks team in Lae. Noel Blair was a top Aussie Rules player in Tasmania before coming to PNG and “Ginty” Stevens was a top player in the ACT with Ainslie F C.
Purists will note that there are only 16 team members in the side that played in Port Moresby; wingmen were dispensed with because of the lack of space playing on a rugby league field.