Archive for August, 2019

Aug 10 2019

Helping with missing Black Top memorabilia 

NATIONAL Coursing Association president Kevin Gordon has moved quickly to help Jewells couple Barry and June Butler attempt to recover their Black Top memorabilia lost amid the changeover of managers at The Gardens.

The Herald contacted the Butlers on Monday about the removal of memorabilia from The Gardens greyhound racing track at Birmingham Gardens last week.

June is the niece of the late Frank Holmes, who trained 1960s legend Black Top, which has a bar and group2 race named in his honour at The Gardens.

June and her husband Barry realised on Friday that Black Top memorabilia they had loaned to the track for display had been mistakenly removed and donated without their permission to Cardiff Greyhound Social Club.

They recovered items on Saturday morning but framed Black Top racing papers and rugs remain missing.

Upset over the losses, the Butlers wanted help in regaining the pieces.

The drama comes after Greyhound Racing NSW deregistered the NCA as a racing club over financial concerns and the Greyhound Breeders, Owners and Trainers’ Association was installed as interim manager of The Gardens.

Gordon, who signed a letter authorising the removal of NCA memorabilia from the facility, contacted the Butlers yesterday morning to tell them he did not know they owned the Black Top items and it was an honest mistake.

He said he would run a notice in NCA publication The Greyhound Recorder requesting the return of the memorabilia with a ‘‘no questions asked’’ guarantee.

Gordon said he knew Holmes well, he had established the Black Top race and had put $100,000 into the event through his Multicam business.

Gordon, who withdrew his sponsorship of last week’s Black Top race, said he and the NCA had no issue with the GBOTA over the change of management at The Gardens.

As for the memorabilia removal the week of the group2 Black Top final, he said he had asked the Cardiff club to take The Gardens memorabilia for safe-keeping three weeks ago but a letter of authorisation had been requested.

June Butler said she accepted Gordon did not know the framed items were only on loan to the track.

She appreciated the free notice in The Greyhound Recorder and hoped it would help them regain the framed items.

‘‘It certainly wasn’t meant to start World War III, it was just a matter of trying to locate them and put them back where they were,’’ June said.

June has since been told the framed items had not hung on the walls of the Black Top bar for at least two weeks, meaning they were likely taken or misplaced before last week’s removal of memorabilia.

June Butler with Black Top memorabilia. Some souvenirs of the greyhound’s career are still missing.

Aug 10 2019

Lean’s champion effort for Terrace

IAN Lean created history on Saturday by becoming the first Raymond Terrace bowler to win the prestigious Newcastle District Champion of Club Champions Singles.

Lean convincingly beat the giantkilling Brett Gemmell (Lowlands) 31-19 in the final.

Gemmell started the match brilliantly, leading 6-0 after five ends, but then dropped 11 shots on the next five ends to trail 11-6 after 10 ends.

The turning point in the match came on the 22nd end with Lean leading 18-16.

Gemmell was holding three shots but Lean with his last bowl drew the shot and then never lost the ascendancy.

■ The Newcastle reserve side narrowly defeated the Newcastle under-25 side 77-68 in the annual fixture played on Friday evening.

Rink wins were shared two each, with the successful reserve skippers being Chris Evans 23-17 over Joel Roche and Trevor Aitchison 18-13 against David Hutchison.

The triumphant Under 25 skippers were Australian representative Matthew Baus and Jack Ryan.

Baus edged out Michael Abel 20-19 and Ryan beat Gavin Kelly 18-17.

■Beresfield started its defence of the Newcastle District No.1 Grade Three Threes Competition with a solid 62-47 first round victory over Toronto Workers winning on two of the three rinks.

Michael Beesley defeated Jason Snowden 27-18 and Mick Brown downed Barrie Winslade 19-12.

2013 No.1 Grade Pennant champions Valentine No.1 displayed its strength with a big 97-31 win over Boolaroo. The successful skippers being Brendon Baker, David Govan and Bill Ahoy.

Govan, Peter Clarke and Greg Tilden scored a rare nine against Don Conn, Brian Sager and Graham Soper.

The other impressive winner was Raymond Terrace No.1 97-38 over Charlestown, with Matthew Baus, Jason Stokes and Lennon Scott all recording comfortable wins.

This afternoon in the match of the round Valentine No.1 host Raymond Terrace No.1, while Beresfield travel to Swansea Workers, who last week beat Wallsend No.1 65-49. Barry Aubin’s 25-14 win over Geoff Horton proved decisive.

■ St. Marys RSL and Blacktown City will next Friday, Saturday and Sunday host the annual State Inter-Zone Sides Championship. Newcastle (Zone 2) will play Zones 8 (Riverina-Albury), 9 (North Sydney) and 15 (Central Coast) in its three Sectional matches at St Marys RSL.

Newcastle have a strong side with the skippers being Matthew Baus (Raymond Terrace), Martin Ball (Alder Park), Australian representative Terry Antram (Soldiers Point) and NSW representative Jason Stokes (Raymond Terrace).

The semi-finals and final are scheduled to be played at Blacktown City on Sunday.

■ Raymond Terrace and Beresfield will host the Newcastle Section of the State Rookies Singles Championship on Saturday and Sunday.

■ Valentine has vacancies for its Super 10s Tournament on September 10, 12 and 13.

Windale-Gateshead women are still accepting nominations for their master fours on September 23 and 25.

Ian Lean in action last year.

Aug 10 2019

Haynes leads Magic to final

BROADMEADOW striker Peter Haynes received a message at the end of last season from Lambton Jaffas coach David Tanchevski, asking him what were the chances.

The Jaffas were planning a maiden assault on the Northern NSW State League with the immediate purpose of avoiding relegation.

Haynes, a Jaffas junior and the 2011 state league player of the year, would have been an ideal man to lead the charge.

Twelve months on, Haynes is preparing to lead Broadmeadow Magic against the Jaffas in the grand final.

It is a strange but satisfying scenario for Haynes on two fronts.

‘‘I got a text from Dave Tanch last year, I think a day after they won their grand final, saying, ‘What are your chances,’’’ Haynes said.

‘‘But I think we both knew it wasn’t going to happen. I’m a Magic guy now.

‘‘But I’m really happy they are there. They’ve done so well and are a great club.’’

Haynes played his junior football at the Jaffas until age 11 and said the connection to his grand final rivals had already put him in the firing line.

‘‘My uncle Scott [Haynes] was quite a good player and played at KB United,’’ he said.

‘‘He played at the Jaffas and still supports them, so he’s been into me this week as well.

‘‘We had a Father’s Day dinner the other night and he was poking me, trying to give me a bit of stick.’’

Defending major premiers Magic will go in as clear favourites after beating the Jaffas 4-0 in the major semi-final two weeks ago.

The Jaffas hit back on Saturday with their second penalty shoot-out win over Hamilton in two weeks to set-up a dream first-season, grand final appearance. It is remarkable effort, given the Jaffas’ immediate goal this year was avoiding relegation.

Haynes, though, said his side would not take the Jaffas lightly.

‘‘I don’t know if I buy into the fairytale any more. It’s hard to be a fairytale when you come second in the league,’’ Haynes said.

‘‘They’ve overachieved in terms of what people thought they’d do, but they’ve finished second and won two semi-finals, so you can’t buy into the underdog tag too much anymore.’’

He also believed their recent win had painted the wrong picture.

‘‘I think we got a bit lucky there,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s not too often you win 4-0 and your goalkeeper gets man of the match. That must tell you something about the game.’’

Haynes expected the return of Jobe Wheelhouse from suspension to boost the Jaffas, who have come through a gruelling finals campaign and will be without Abe Wheelhouse due to an ankle injury. Micheal Sessions (back) and Paul Devine (knee) are also in doubt.

CENTRE OF ATTENTION: Broadmeadow Magic striker Peter Haynes, No.9, celebrates scoring with his teammates. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Aug 10 2019

Uni students’ racism experiences: poll

NO RACIAL ATTACKS: University of Newcastle students of nuclear medicine Ali Alabdullah, left, and Ahmed Abdullah. Picture: Simone De PeakBAD news travels fast among international students.

So when Kuwaiti nuclear medicine students Ahmed Abdullah and Ali Alabdullah heard reports of racism in Newcastle while researching study options three years ago, they were a little anxious.

‘‘My friend was talking to his family on the phone and someone heard him speaking in Arabic and told him to speak English not Arabic and then they punched him in the back and ran,’’ Mr Abdullah said yesterday.

‘‘But in the end, it didn’t stop us from trying it out and seeing for ourselves and we didn’t have any problems.

‘‘We’ve been here for three years and haven’t seen any abuse.

‘‘We come over to Jesmond a fair bit for lunch and our friends live in the suburb and we’ve been fine.

‘‘I think stuff that happened to my friend only happens rarely.’’

Their comments come after Malaysian student Vishnu Vigneswaran told the Newcastle Herald on Monday that racism was so bad in Jesmond and Birmingham Gardens that he had become numb to abuse and taunts.

He was speaking in the wake of two attacks on students with Asian backgrounds – one an Australian the other an international student – within 2 hours on Saturday night.

Opinions among Jesmond residents and visitors to the suburb’s shopping centre were split yesterday, with half of those surveyed saying they thought racism was rife. South African-born Jesmond student Elmari Smit said she had seen kids as young as 10 abusing international students at the Blue Gum Road bus stop.

‘‘I go to university four times a week and I walk through Jesmond to go to uni so I see it four times a week,’’ she said.

Other domestic and international students told the Newcastle Herald they had never witnessed racist attitudes or behaviour in the suburb.


We asked:Do you think the suburbs surrounding the University of Newcastle have a problem with racism?

ANGELA FALL Birmingham Gardens

I’ve heard stories but I haven’t had any problems with racism or seen anything myself. I know there are a lot of international students in the area but I haven’t witnessed any racially motivated abuse or attacks myself.


Not at all. I don’t really see it around. I don’t know if it goes on between younger people or older people, I just never see it. I see a lot of international students, but I don’t think they have a bad time of it.


I’ve lived in Newcastle for 10 years and shop in Jesmond quite often and I’ve had no problems with racist abuse. Some people do ask me whether I was born with my Bindi which is a bit disappointing. But people should understand that it could be something related to fashion before they ask that.


I moved here a few years ago from Taree, which is a smaller town, and moving here I could definitely tell that there is a lot of people who are bigoted. They think they are better than anyone basically but especially overseas students. People will yell derogatory terms, mainly around the bus stops because a lot of students catch the bus.

ASHLEIGH BUTLER Birmingham Gardens

We were talking about it the other day – our friends get verbally attacked and it’s so shocking. I wouldn’t even think of that, it’s so crazy. There is definitely a problem here. It’s sick, it’s horrible. It’s just ignorance and unnecessary.

NICK PHILLIPS Birmingham Gardens

We’ve got international friends and they’ve told us that they’ve suffered abuse. They’re not actually from overseas, they were born here, but they look like they are from overseas, which doesn’t really matter to those who are being racist. There’s definitely a problem.

Aug 10 2019

Williamtown, Singleton key defence roles

THE pivotal role played by RAAF Williamtown and Singleton army base to bolster the NSW defence industry and ensure national security will be reinforced on Wednesdayin the State Government’s new defence position paper.

Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner will launch the paper on Wednesdaymorning at Williamtown following a major push by the Hunter Business Chamber and HunterNet to snare a bigger slice of the defence pie through their Hunter Defence Strategy.

Mr Stoner said yesterday that NSW was the most significant defence state with RAAF Williamtown and Singleton’s military area playing a ‘‘critical role’’ in supporting jobs and business in the region.

‘‘We will aggressively make the case for … defence facilities in NSW and the Hunter, advocating the importance of the NSW defence sector to the nation’s defence efforts,’’ he said.

The government estimates defence brings the state 30,000 jobs, $5billion in turnover and $1.4billion in value-add across defence and related industries.

Newcastle MP Tim Owen, who with former chief of army and defence force vice-chief Ken Gillespie provided key advice on the position paper, said the document highlighted the government’s focus on supporting defence players.

‘‘Past governments have given it scant regard but this is very much focused on across-government support for the defence industry,’’ he said.

In February, the Hunter Defence Strategy – which aims to turn the region into a major national defence hub, create jobs and diversify the local economy – was presented at the Avalon airshow in Victoria.

Its targets included a push for Headquarters Air Command to be moved from the Blue Mountains to Williamtown, the establishment of a defence-oriented business hub at the RAAF base and identifying a Defence-capable role for the Port of Newcastle.

Hunter Business Chamber president Richard Anicich said the development of the government’s position paper followed the chamber’s push for a comprehensive, state-based industry action plan.

‘‘A strategic approach to defence planning is critical and we were pleased to be involved in the development process,’’ he said.

Wiliamtown RAAF base is strategically important.