The Boring Old Farts Touring Association had some good times

Old Fogeys: Back row: Gordon Goffett, Brian Dennis, Michael Hill. Front row: Bill Wendtman, Mark “Tubby” Taylor, Tony Davis, Russell Wendtman. These blokes met the Aussie cricket captain as members of the Boring Old Farts Touring Association. Everyone needs a group of mates, a club to join orsome kind offraternity.

Charlestown’sTonyDavis saysit’s important for such groups or clubs to have agood name.

“We had a group of ‘mature’ blokes who knocked about together,” Tony said.

“We were all 50-plus,with families. There were basically fourof us, with a couple of others on occasion.”

They had some great weekends, getting away from it all.

Sometimes they’d headto the bush, stayingovernight in a country pub.

They’d alltraveltogetherin the same car.

It wasdecided that thegroup needed a name, but it wasn’t easy coming up with somethingsuitable.

Then one day, a group member namedBillwas asked by his son:”Are you going away with the boring old fartsagain, Dad?”

The naming conundrum was solved. From that day forth, the group was to be known as theBoring Old Farts Touring Association or “the BOFTAs”.

Before long, there wereT-shirts, jackets and caps, emblazoned with the BOFTAlogo.

“We went to the bush, the football, the cricket and had some great times.

“Between the fourof us and our tworeserves,we had a few connections.”

Two of the old farts were cricketers. As such, they met some interesting types from the cricketing fraternity.

“We tried to go to at least one test match a year, see the first ball bowled and stay a few days –preferably the entire test.”

Theysaw tests in Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne and Brisbane.

“In Adelaide, we arranged to meet up with Ian Chappell in a fish and chip cafe, where many cricketers met. He had dinner with us, introduced us toTonyGreig and bought us a drink back at his hotel later in the night,” Tony Davis said.

“During that test we also met brothers Greg and Trevor. They were really good blokes.”

On one particularvisitto Brisbane, a meeting was arranged with former n captainMark “Tubby” Taylor after the day’s play.

“Of all the sporting people we managed to meet, he was one of the most impressive,” Tony said.

They asked for a photo with him.

Tubby replied in the affirmative, with one condition.

“Don’t tell people that you played in my team. You’re tooold!”

Point was, though, they were all old together. They had a fraternity.

Send stories of being part of a team, group or fraternity to [email protected]苏州夜网.au.

How to Live LongerThe ironic thing about the Boring Old Farts Touring Association is that they were actually warding off ageing, simply by being part of a social group.

The Blue Zones project, which studies people who live to 100 or more, says one of the nine keys to longevity is being part of a social group.

The Okinawans in Japan, who are among the longest lived people on the planet, have a tradition of forming a social group called a “moai”.

The other eight keys to living a long life are: exercise naturally;have a purpose;downshift your life to create less stress;eat until you’re 80 per cent full;slant yourdiet towards plants;drink one to two glasses of wine a day;belong to a faith-based community;put family first.

Now you know how to be an old fart for much longer.

[email protected]苏州夜网.au

Hunter Coast Premier Hockey League: Norths and Gosford face off in third straight grand final

BATTLE: Norths skipper Theo Gruschka and Gosford midfielder Ben Ferguson at Newcastle International Hockey Centre. Picture: Jonathan CarrollThey mighthave different reasons but both Theo Gruschka and Ben Ferguson desperately want the same prize this weekend –the Hunter Coast Premier Hockey League cup.

Norths skipper Gruschka, 33, has heldthe silverwareso many times all the grand finalsbegin to blur into one, but there’s a chance for the boys in blue to defend their crown and again stamp the club’s dominance in this competition.

At the other end of his career Gosford midfielder Ferguson, 22, is chasing his maiden major premiership and after missing out 12 months agothe undefeated Central Coast crew want to cap off an almost faultless campaign in style.

Sunday at Newcastle International Hockey Centre will mark the third time in as many seasons these sides have met in the decider.

The ledger is all square at one apiece.- Norths up 3-2 in the most recent edition and Gosford’s inaugural prize in 2015following a 2-1 victory.

This splits the difference.

“In terms of the last few grand finals being against Gosford we’re one apiece so this is an opportunity to take some bragging rights and go ahead,”Gruschka said.

“We’d absolutely like to take this trophy home and keep it inNewcastle hands.”

Ferguson wasn’t part of Gosford’s breakthrough success having joined the club from Tigers afterwards and seeing his chance slip away last September still “stings”, especially to opponents and Sydney-based housemates Nick Hill and Jesse Moss.

“I saw two of my best mateshold the trophy up in front of me last year so it would be good to get one back,” Ferguson said.

“There’s plenty of Norths cups in the cupboard so it would be good to get a Gosford one in there as well.”

Ferguson said therewould be a certain sense “relief” for Gosford to win having gone through the season without a singleloss.

Gruschka said there was “pressure” on both sides simply because it was such a “big stage”.

Norths are hoping defender Ben Howey (hamstring) comes back into the starting XIwhile midfielder Connor Eyres gotthrough the weekend’s preliminary final win over Souths unscathed.

Gosford are largelyunchanged but goalkeeper and NSW squad member Nick Holman has been named and trained this week in a bid to return from a hamstring injury suffered six weeks ago.

The rival squadshave meton four occasions in 2017 with a 1-all draw the only time Gosford didn’t win.

Play starts at 2:30pm.

GOSFORD: 1 Nick Holman 2 Brett Giffin 3 Robbie McGuire 4 Geoff McGuire 5 Hugh Wickert 6 Rhiley Carr 7 Lain Carr 8 Lloyd Radcliffe 9 Adam Bosley 10 Lee McCormack 11 Stuart Fletcher 12 Liam Alexander (c) 13 Ben Ferguson 14 Jake Wigham 15 Craig Campbell 16 Michael Taylor

NORTHS: 1 Shaun O’Brien 2 Shaun Frazer 3 Brad Binns 4 Connor Eyres 5 Nick Hill 6 Jordan Dennis 7 Ben Howey 8 Andrew Oliver 9 Theo Gruschka (c) 10 Jordan Willott 11 Jesse Moss 12 Oliver Flack 13 James Piper 14 Ky Willott 15 Dane Pettitt 16 Rory Walker 17 Eamon Smith


Premier League: Gosford v Norths (2:30pm)

Second Grade: Norths v Souths (12:30pm)

Third Grade: Port Stephens v University (11am)

Fourth Grade: Souths v Wests (9:30am)

Fifth Grade: Tigers v Wests (11am)

Sixth Grade: Tigers v Maitland (9:30am)

Seventh Grade: Maitland v Wests (12:30pm)

Cameron Handicap: Blake Spriggs eyeing home feature double

Blake Spriggs. Picture: bradleyphotos苏州夜网.auEIGHT years after his only Newcastle group race ride, Blake Spriggs is eyeing off what would be a unique double on his home track’s biggest day.

Sprigg will ride the John Thompson-trained Maurus in the group 3 Cameron Handicap (1500m) on Friday. Herode Geigeron, which finished last, for Broadmeadow trainer Steve Hodge in the 2009 edition and he was thrilled to get another chance.

“For someone growing up in Newcastle, I always watched it, the Newmarket, Cameron and the Cupwere the big three and this is the type of race I’d really love to win,” Spriggs said.“I’d be pretty excited if I did.”

Spriggs will also be cheering on partner Rachel King, who will ridethe Kris Lees-trained Wahng Wah in the Newcastle Cup.

“Partners winning the Cup and the Cameron, that would be a first,” he said.

Maurus, a six-year-old, was $12 for the Cameron with TAB Fixed Odds on Thursday but Spriggs, the stable rider for Waratah Thoroughbreds,believed the 2016 Ipswich Cup winner was a better chance.

“The wayhe’s working, we’ve realistically got himpencilled in for races like the Cox Plate and the Turnbull, provided he gets to that level,” he said.“But we have that opinion of him, that he could get into group 1 level, probably more so in a handicap weight race.He’d want to be running a very good race tomorrow, which we expect he will be, to justify running in those sorts of races.”

Godolphin’s Spectroscope ($3.20) was battling for Cameronfavouritismon Thursday with Thompson’s other runner, Special Missile ($3). Lees’ topweight, Sound Proposition, was $4.20.

Spriggs had plenty of respect for Special Missile and Sound Proposition but was happy to be on Maurus.

“Special Missile is stepping up to group company for the first time, he has the ability to do it, but he’s still doing it a bit wrong,” he said.“He’s looking around a bit when he hits the front, he’s still got a bit to learn, whereas mine knows he’s a racehorse and he’s very forward.”

Lees saidSpectroscope was the one to beat and thetopweight of 59kg for Sound Proposition, 3kg more than next heaviest Maurus, was a concern.

“He’s weighted right up to his best but he can carry weight, that’s one thing,” Lees said.“I think he will still race well. It’s just whether the weight gets him.”

Whispered Secret ($13) will carry Newcastle hopes in the Spring Stakes (1600m) if Lees opts for the race instead of Randwick on Saturday.

“If she can recapture her autumn form, she’ll be competitive,” he said. “She gives me the impression she’s going to run every bit of a mile and further.It’s just whether it’s this preparation.”

In the Tibbie Stakes (1400m), Lees has $2.50 favourite Invincible Gem, Zestful and potentiallydual acceptor Skylight Glow and emergency Princess Posh.

“Invincible Gem is in well under the conditions of the race so she’s probably the pick of my chances, but the rest will all run well,” he said.“If she wins or runs well, she’ll go onto the Epsom.”

Wollongong Anglican church leader’s public lecture on ‘no’ case

Public lecture: St Michael’s Anglican leader Reverend Sandy Grant said he hoped to give a “thoughtful expression of the ‘no’ case”. Picture: Adam McLean.St Michael’s church leaderSandy Grant has expressed fears about what could happenif same-sex marriage is legalised at a public lecture attended by about 100 people.

As postal surveysarrived in letterboxes, Rev Grant said he was “not about directing people how to vote from the pulpit”, but wanted to offer “robust reasons for no”, and “thoughtful and non-hateful reasons that cause concern about same-sex marriage”.

Early in the hour-long sermon, which included a reading of Christian marriage vows, hedismissed the idea that talking about children was “a distractionand irrelevance”.

He acknowledged the“yes” argument had labelled the “no” focus on children a “red herring”. Equality advocates have highlightedthat heterosexual couples may be married without children, and noted it is already legal for same-sex couples to have children without being married.

Rev Grant suggested United Nations covenantson civil and political rights and the rights children were implicitlyin favour of “traditional” marriage.

“The right of men and women of marriageable age to marry and to found a family shall be recognised,” he quoted from the covenant.

He said he believed that “thenatural assumption is that this article about marriageconcerns the union of a man and a women who are raising children of their sexual union together.”

Addressing the “yes” call for equality, Rev Grant saidchildren deserved“an equal chance to have a relationship with their own mother and father”.

He also argued same-sex couples were treated “almost indistinguishably” from opposite-sex relationships under the law except the “name of marriage”.

“The equality being demanded goes beyond any requirement for legal protections of same-sex couples, and shifts the whole debate to something else: a state endorsed validation of the relationship,” he said.

At the end of his lecture, Mr Grant spoke of a “slippery slope” that could occur when same-sex marriage is legalised. For instance, he believed removing the need for people of the opposite sex to marry could lead to polygamy or under-age marriage.

“Some Muslims are already pushing this…the legalisation of marriage in n to allow polygamy,” he said.

“This shows the sheer inadequacy of the love is love slogan. Do you think a 30-year-old man should be able to marry a 12-year-old girl if they both consent and say they love each other?”

He also raised fears about freedom of speech and religion, saying Christians could face discriminationif marriage laws are changed.

He said, for example, overseas bakers and priests had been subject to legal action for refusing to work with gay couples.

“To force a Christian, or Muslim for that matter, to celebrate gay marriage by their artistry, their preaching, it’s like forcing a Jewish printer to print flyers for a lecture series denying the holocaust. Or trying to force a gay baker to bake a cake for Fred Nile in his anti-mardi gras campaign.

“Even if you might be willing to accept a change to recognise a same-sex union as a marriageunder the secular law in , if you have any concern for freedom of speech and freedom of religion, then you should be very careful before voting yes.”

Illawarra Mercury

Newcastle Cup 2017: Darren Weir hoping Pacodali can go the distance

MIDAS TOUCH: Darren Weir gets one hand on the Newcastle Cup on Thursday at the Broadmeadow track. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

All-conquering Victorian trainer Darren Weir had an affinity with Newcastle long before he first stepped foot in the city on Thursday.

And on Friday, Weir hopes to grab a piece of the region, the group 3 Newcastle Cup (2300m), all for himself with his first runner at the Broadmeadow track.

The Weir-trained Pacodaliwill be among the favourites for the$175,000 Cup, the feature race of the Newcastle Jockey Club’s spring carnival.

The five-year-old was the $2.60 favourite with TAB Fixed Odds on Thursday, just ahead of the Chris Waller-trained Sayed ($2.80), but Weir was cautious ahead of hisIrish-bredgelding’s first interstate run.

“He’s in the right form, but you’ve got to travel, and go the other way. There’s lots of variables,” Weir said.

“But the form at home is terrific and the owner was quite keen to have a go at a group race,which is understandable.

“It looked a nice race for him and if he could win a group 3, it would be a pretty good result for a horse like that.”

Pacodali, with four wins from his past five starts,travelled to the Waratah Thoroughbreds stables in Moss Vale on Wednesday night and will finish his journey to Newcastle on Friday morning.

Weir came up early on Thursday to speak at the annual Beauford Club luncheon at Newcastle Racecourse, after which he donated his appearance fee to the Mark Hughes Foundation.

Newcastle is one of only a few places left for the Ballarat trainerto conquer.

Weir had a winner in every state last season on his way to a n record-smashing 449 victories,prizemoney of more than $24.6 million and31 group races victories.

That amazing success has come partly from the support of Hunter-based syndicators Luke Murrell and Jamie Lovett of n Bloodstock, who rose to fame with the 2014 Melbourne Cup win of Protectionist.

Weir and premier Newcastle trainer Kris Lees take care of n Bloodstock’s horses. While Pacodali is owned by Seamus Mcpeake, n Bloodstock have Lees-trained long-shot Doukhan in the Newcastle Cup on Friday.

“They’ve been terrific for our stable, but not only our stable, but for racing in general,” Weir said of n Bloodstock.

“They have heaps of horses with Kris and heaps everywhere.I can’t thank them enough and I’m sure Kris feels the same.

“If I can’t win [the Newcastle Cup], I hope they do.”

n Bloodstock have Red Cardinal and the Weir-trained Admire Deus and Big Duke set for this year’s Melbourne Cup. Red Cardinal will join Weir’s stables after the Cup.

‘The Ballad of Joey Johns’ by Nah Mate releases new video, plan more rugby league-themed songs

LEGEND: Sam Cupitt and Joshua Ballico from the band Nah Mate.HE gave us ‘The Ballad of Joey Johns’,and for that we are eternally grateful.

ButNewcastle folk/alternative musicianJoshua Ballico,who performs under the name Bofolk Ballico, wasn’t done.

He’s put together a band, Nah Mate, whose first release, a full recording of the unofficial Newcastle anthem complete with a new video dropped last week, and the group plan on releasing more original rugby league-themed songs.

As well as Ballico, Nah Mate consists ofSam Cupitt (vocals), Ryan Cox (harmonica and electric guitar), Dhare Labbe (bass) and Andrew Greentree (drums). But for ‘The Ballad of Joey Johns’ they were also assisted by Shaun Danger on electric guitar and Spencer Scott on bass.

We wanted to know what other songs the band might cover, and suggested maybe a Cliffy Lyons themed tune that centered on his penchant for rolled cigarettes and inch-perfect inside balls.

“I don’t want to give too much away, but I’ll say that we discuss Newcastle rivals in one of our songs,”Ballico said.

“We also flashback to the 2002 Origin series and discuss one of our favourite commentators.

“The attention received by the original video was enough to make me think there was an audience out there for these songs. “A niche.

“But after recording the original I practiced the song with my band. “It went really well live and sounded great with a full band.

“That’s really what motivated me to make this recording and video.

“Sam Cupitt had endless lyric ideas that were all worth pursuing.

“The songs will not exclusively be about Newcastle players, but will all be sung from a Novocastrian perspective.”

GREAT: Joshua Ballico recreates that iconic Joey Johns image.