Port Moresby ex-pats kick on after 50 years

LONG-STANDING links with Warrnambool were renewed at the 50th reunion of the 1964 Port Moresby Football Club premiership side on the weekend.

Warrnambool’s Brian Brebner, a member of the victorious 1964 side, said reunion celebrations are held every two years at a different Australian city.

Mr Brebner said scores of Australians went to work in New Guinea during the 1950s and 60s, including many from Warrnambool and district, which led to the formation of an eight-team Australian Rules football competition.

People who lived and worked in New Guinea and were associated with the Port Moresby Football Club have previously reunited in Perth, Maroochydore, Canberra and Tasmania. The Warrnambool weekend  attracted 86 people, including wives and partners.

Mr Brebner said Warrnambool people in New Guinea about 1964 included Peter and Colleen Wooles, Dennis O’Malley, Rob Whelan, Noel and Bev Kenna, Brian Baudinette, Daryl Dalton, Wally Cook and Daryl Watson.

“We got beat in the 1963 grand final but won in 1964. It was a very successful club and had enormous Warrnambool connections. Half of Warrnambool seemed to be up there,” Mr Brebner said.

“The club president was Jack Dale, Joe Walsh was vice-president and Harry McQuinn was on the board. Brian Kavanagh was a trainer and Jan O’Dwyer was also involved in the club. Brian Fry was the central umpire and Ken Mitchell was a boundary umpire. 

“In the team there was Graham Tickner, Bill Wooster and myself.

“There were people from all over Australia in New Guinea and we now meet every two years. It’s a fabulous group.”

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