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.

Reef awareness one step closer

SUPPORT: Spirit and Soul foundation member Dave Freeman and Abell Point Marina general manager Luke McCaul.

Abell Point Marina back Spirit and Soul Foundation.

New VMR signs show safety first

SIGNED UP: Bob Beale, Kevin Thiele, Bob Bristow, Colin Metcalfe, Alan Corney, Roger Wodson, Ray Lewis and Norbert Gross at Whisper Bay with one of the newly erected signs.

VMR Whitsunday get new signs.

Local Partners

Decorating the spirit of deserving local families

The community is invited to donate Christmas tree decorations to the Whitsunday Neighbourhood Centre.

Man builds playground entirely out of packing tape

Artist Eric Lennartson is in the process of completing his huge tape sculpture at the Ipswich Art Gallery.

VIDEO:And here's where you can play on it.

Countdown to Woodford Folk Festival begins

ECONOMIC BOON: Woodford Folk Festival is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.  Photo Contributed

The first larger-than-life inhabitants have stepped into Woodfordia

'I need to do what I can': 65km walk for cancer patient

Karlee Robinson is walking from Caloundra to Noosa for her cousin Aaron Parker, who has terminal brain cancer.

What do you do when someone you love has terminal brain cancer?

Jennifer Lawrence gives keys to new partner

Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence

Oscar winner settling down with new partner

Rogue One star proud to lead new Star Wars film

Felicity Jones leads the new Star Wars film

Star Wars lead proud to be in front in sci-fi

What's on the small screen this week

Ernie Dingo stars in the TV series Going Places with Ernie Dingo.

ERNIE Dingo stars in a new travel series and Seven airs the AACTAs.

Mandy Moore feels like she's 60

Mandy Moore sees herself as a 60-year-old rather than a 32-year-old

Goooodbye Hamish and Andy (from our radios)

Hamish and Andy

The pair have been on air since 2006

David Attenborough on facing his mortality

Sir David Attenborough in a scene from the TV special The Death of the Oceans.

Life without Sir David Attenborough is hard to imagine

Chinese locked out of Australian property market

The rules are different if you're a foreigner

The buyer was from China - the trouble started right there

Morrison signs off on new affordable rental model

Australia's Treasurer Scott Morrison speaks during a press conference after a meeting of the Council of Federal Financial Relations at Parliament House in Canberra, Friday, Dec. 2, 2016.

Scott Morrison signed off on development of a new financing model

Coast high-flyer's fight back from bankruptcy, $72m debt

Scott Juniper went from millionaire developer to declaring bankruptcy in2012, now he is back on top of his game again with new developments including this one in Coolum.

'Apocalyptic lending storm' causes financial collapse.

Private gem is on the horizon

PARADISE: PRD nationwide Whitsunday sales consultant Darryl Brewer,  Michelle Levett and Project manager Christie Leet at Funnel Bay.

An idyllic new beachside development is just around the corner.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!