Whitsunday rugby league in the beginning

1922 PROSERPINE A TEAM:  Back: W Compton, W Garbutt, F Grosskreutz, R Jensen, W Greenwood, G Dudley, J Ironside. Centre: F Nicholas, T Morrissey (manager), T Tracey (C), W Watts (trainer), F Greenwood. Front: W Warren, R Grosskreutz.
1922 PROSERPINE A TEAM: Back: W Compton, W Garbutt, F Grosskreutz, R Jensen, W Greenwood, G Dudley, J Ironside. Centre: F Nicholas, T Morrissey (manager), T Tracey (C), W Watts (trainer), F Greenwood. Front: W Warren, R Grosskreutz.

Whitsundays Rugby league historian Tony Price is writing a book about the history of rugby league in the Whitsunday region leading up to the player reunion next year. The Whitsunday Times will publish regular articles by Mr Price in the lead up to the reunion.


RUGBY league was first played in the Proserpine/Cannon Valley area as far back as 1909 and although there is no record of the game being played, there is mention of a representative game against Bowen in 'The Port Denison Times' of July 31, 1909.

Again in May 1910 there is mention of a game being played in Bowen against Proserpine, described as 'Cane Growers and Sugar Squeezers'.

The big thing in the 1915-1960 period was the excursion train and as early as 1920 more than 500 people from Proserpine would travel to Bowen to watch their players compete with Bowen in four grades (junior, C team, B team, A team).

It was a big thing in 1922 when the A team beat Bowen for the first time and Proserpine had a strong district competition with teams based at Cannon Valley (Rovers), Preston (Conway Rangers) and two teams in Proserpine, 'the Star of Hope' and 'All Blacks'.

This grew with the addition of Ramblers and Railways and by 1922 the competition was exciting and the talk of the district.

Early players for the Cannon Valley Rovers included Percy Amos as fullback and George Barr, Simon Fraser, A Holmes, R Gordon and W Morrison.

The All Blacks won the 1920 premiership thanks to players like Wally and Fred Greenwood, Charlie Brown, Quinny Hinschen, Bill Compton and Dick Stanley while the 1921/1922 premiers, Ramblers had a strong base with Sid McNeill, J Dafforn, Smiler Webber, Cobby Webber and P Brennan.

The Railways team which was formed in 1922 was captained by Tom Tracey, who was the best player in the district in the 1922 season.

Proserpine defeated Bowen for the first time on July 16, 1922 and the winning team was W Greenwood, W Garbutt, C Brown, F Grosskreutz, S Barriskill, W Warren, P Brennan, W Compton, T Tracey (C), R Jensen, F Nicholas, F Greenwood and W Considine.

Bowen actually led early 12-2 but the halftime score was 12-10 with late tries to Brown and Considine.

Five-eighths Brennan was injured shortly before half time and Wally Greenwood went into that position. Late in the second half Bill Warren made a break and sent Greenwood into score to win the game 13-12.

Both Warren and Greenwood were carried shoulder high off the field by the Proserpine players and supporters.

Anyone with old Proserpine photos or programs should contact Tony Price on 0427 451 913.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Premier soaks up beauty of Whitsundays

ON THE MOVE: Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Tourism Minister Kate Jones toured Heart Hotel this morning.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk toured Heart Hotel this morning.

Beating the drum for Africa

AFRICA NIGHT: Vari Galletly, Sue Tuck and Pam Harrison call for support.

Invictus will be played at WACC for Hakuna Matata night.

Dinner with a twist

TOP SHELF: Dirty Dick's theatre restaurant is coming to Proserpine Entertainment Centre.

There is no award Dirty Dick's can't lay claim to.

Local Partners

Jake left broken-hearted by Bachelorette break-up

Jake Ellis is one of the final three bachelors on The Bachelorette.

GEORGIA chooses Lee and Matty J as her final two suitors.

MOVIE REVIEW: Doctor Strange is out there in a good way

Benedict Cumberbatch in a scene from the movie Doctor Strange.

MARVEL'S new superhero takes viewers along on his mind trip.

MOVIE REVIEW: Jack Reacher sequel falls flat

Tom Cruise in a scene from the movie Jack Reacher: Never Go Back.

THE film's title Never Go Back should serve as a warning to fans.

The Bachelor contestants find love with each other

Former Bachelor contestants Megan Marx and Tiffany Scanlon have confirmed their relationship on social media.

MEGAN Marx and Tiffany Scanlon confirm relationship on Instagram.

Liam Payne wants to wed Cheryl Fernandez-Versini

Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Liam Payne

Liam Payne reportedly wants to marry Cheryl Fernandez-Versini

Bindi Irwin 'honoured' to make MAXIM HOT 100 list

Wildlife Warrior named among Australia's most beautiful women

Tough times in CBD: Woolies says goodbye Ipswich

Woolworths in the Ipswich Mall.Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

The last day of trading will be January 1

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

How to fit 100,000 new homes on the Coast

Property, real estate, housing, suburb,  August 2016

Fitting 2m extra people in south-east Qld in 25 years a balance

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June