Looking back on history of league
WITH the Whitsunday Brahmans player and supporter reunion coming up on July 6, the Whitsunday Times is printing articles examining the history of rugby league in the area, this week focusing on the 1940s.
In last week's article the focus was on the great Proserpine teams of 1937/1938.
In 1939 and 1940 the North Queensland B Grade Final was fought out between Collinsville and Tully with one win apiece.
There was little football played in the 1940-1945 period but the end of the Second World War saw rugby league return to Proserpine with a four team club competition comprising Colts, Ramblers, Calen and a team from Dittmer Gold Mine. Many pre-war players had lost their lives but a new era dawned with two of the finest players to ever wear a Proserpine jersey in action.
Proserpine made the Wilson's Cup Final in 1946 after defeating Collinsville, Bowen and Home Hill along the way.
What was supposed to be a close game ended up being a comfortable win for Mount Isa 38 - 11 with young halfback Bob Bax (who later became one of Queensland's greatest coaches) winning the Heatley Blazer.
Best players for Proserpine that day were the Jackson brothers Dick and Bob, Roy Kelso and 'Blondie' Greenwood, a home grown strapping 76-kilo halfback that represented Queensland in 1952 against New Zealand.
Blondie, now living in Tully can remember the Proserpine team that played Collinsville in 1948 in the Wilson Cup decider.
The team was Teddy Duell (fullback), Bob Jackson and Jimmy Andrews (wingers), Gordon Poschelk and Jack Grosskreutz (centres), Harry Gordon (five-eighth), Bert Carne (half back), Jimmy Compton, Jack Arnold and Tiger Duell (front row), Chook Burton and Ted Poschelk (second row) and he captained the side as lock forward.
Collinsville won that day with Blondie's cousin, Arthur Dobe playing five-eighth for Collinsville.
In 1949 Proserpine saw a new Captain Coach arrive in the shape of arguably the finest player to ever play for the town, Bernie Drew.
In the 1940s and 50s it was common for quality players to coach in the country areas and when Bernie arrived in Proserpine as a 22-year-old he had played 43 first grade games for Newtown.
Blondie Greenwood can recall Bernie teaching many young Proserpine players facets of the game they had never seen and it came as no surprise when he left that he eventually played 20 games for Queensland and three tests for Australia. He never played in Sydney after 1950 but captained coached with great success in Bundaberg, Ipswich, Lismore and Gosford.
For more information regarding the reunion contact Andrew Colborne on 0417 629 501.