FROM THE VAULT: Ailsa Reinke of the Proserpine Museum in the archives.Photo Peter Carruthers / Whitsunday Times
FROM THE VAULT: Ailsa Reinke of the Proserpine Museum in the archives.Photo Peter Carruthers / Whitsunday Times Peter Carruthers

Junior league through the years

AT THE first meeting of the Proserpine Whitsunday Junior Rugby League club in 1966 it was stated the objective of the league would be to "foster, promote and control schoolboy football," according to the Proserpine Guardian.

It is clear 50 years after that statement was made the objectives have been achieved.

The opening games of the league on Anzac Day in 1966 saw the under-10s Rovers defeat the Giants 3-0.

The most outstanding players were D Dally, G Ironside and C Carey.

In the under-15 division the Giants hit back and just managed to take the win from the Rovers, 24-22.

Later that year in June, Stewart Relf, Ron O'Brien, Robin Fraser, Jeff Compton and Alan Steele plus reserves Paul Stevens and Graham Leeder, all made the Southern Zone Under-12 team and played in a curtain raiser for the Great Britain vs North Queensland game in Townsville.

CELEBRATING 50 YEARS: The Proserpine Junior Rugby League this year has been on the paddock for 50 years. Photo contributed.
CELEBRATING 50 YEARS: The Proserpine Junior Rugby League this year has been on the paddock for 50 years. Photo contributed. Contributed

Early in the history of the PWJRG club a strong foundation was established.

However at the 1968 annual meeting there was talk of disbanding after poor attendance from players.

Les Stagg in his report as president of the committee said although the small committee had done a remarkable job in its inaugural year it was hoped that more parents would take an interest.

In 1995 the PWJRL started mixing with junior clubs from Mackay in what was described as a "bold move" by the Proserpine Guardian at the time.

By 1995 the PWJRL club was well on the way to becoming a successful club in the Mackay competition and a five-team squad travelled to Collinsville to play a round robin with Bowen and Collinsville.

More than 60 children represented Proserpine in this competition.

During its 50-year history the PWJRL club has come through some tough times to deliver champions such as Paul Bowman and cement its place as a respected and successful club.

Through the tireless efforts of parents, referees, linesmen, coaches, managers, supporters and of course players, the PWJRL can bask in what it has achieved - certainly its original goal of "fostering and promoting schoolboy football".


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