All Broken Hill articles

Lionel loves it

Monday, 13th May, 2013

Lionel Johnston at his beloved Jubilee Oval. PICTURE: Gavin Schmidt Lionel Johnston at his beloved Jubilee Oval. PICTURE: Gavin Schmidt

The BHFL best and fairest medal is named after him, and so are the BHFL meeting rooms, but there’s more to living legend Lionel Johnston than just football, writes Paul Armstrong

Lionel Harry Johnston was born at the Broken Hill District Hospital on December 23, 1922.
He married his sweetheart Patricia and they had children Peter, Jennifer, Christopher and Suzanne. He now has 11 grandchildren and six great grandchildren. Sadly, Patricia passed away in 2004.
Lionel’s family lived in Silverton and his father worked for the Silverton Tramway before moving into Broken Hill during the war years.
His early education was at the Silverton public school before entering the Broken Hill High School and gaining the Intermediate Certificate.
Often he would travel by goods train into school from Silverton and on occasion did not return home until 9 at night due to the train timetable. On other occasions, Lionel would ride his bike over the rutted, dusty road back home.
During his schooling here he would stay with relatives and would later board with them when he gained work.
After school he studied accountancy, typing and shorthand at the Thompkins and Hoskins Business College. At age 17 Lionel gained employment at the North Broken Hill Limited mine and continued his studies at night.
At 19 he joined the RAAF and served for four years during those harrowing times. On joining up he was taken to Adelaide for medical tests (“Please cough, you’re in”) and was moved onto Shepparton for training then to Bradfield Park in Sydney before being posted to Townsville.
After a few months Lionel was posted to the Signals Security Section of 45 Operational Base in Port Moresby when the battle was taking place on the Kokoda Track. He spent his 20th and 21st birthdays in camp. Lionel said wryly, “We flew to Port Moresby by Short Sunderland Flying Boat and we were herded into a stripped out plane like a herd of sheep.”
During his service Lionel was involved with a number of American soldiers and was a cipher assistant who took care of the aircraft secret codes during combat.
Apart from travelling up the Kokoda Track to the Red Cross hut, Lionel was also at the base which was strafed by Japanese bombers on occasions, with his steel hat his only comfort. In one raid more than 100 enemy planes bombed the area, but he was not injured.
“In an effort to supplement our diet we bartered with the Fuzzy Wuzzies to take us out fishing,” he said. “We would catch 15 fish and in return give them tinned fruit.”.
After spending 17 and half months in the tropical heat, Lionel returned home on leave only to strike snow at Orange on the journey. Later he was posted to RAAF Eastern Headquarters in Double Bay, Sydney for a short period. He was then moved to Morotai Island by HMAS Kanimbla.
Lionel was then sent to an island between Borneo and the Philippines called Labuan, with the advanced echelon of the 1st Tactical Air force, in preparation for the invasion of Singapore.
With a faint tremble in his voice, Lionel said “The Atomic bomb was dropped in Japan while I was there. The invasion thus became redundant.”
He was discharged in 1946 and recommenced work at the North mine as a Pay Clerk. Later he was appointed as the Correspondence Clerk. With a smile he added, “I was in charge of the girl typists and was an assistant to the manager’s secretary.”
Lionel later moved to the Personnel Department as Registrar and continued his work until that fateful day in 1982 when he took retirement at age 59. He had worked for the North mine for 43 and half years, an outstanding effort.
Sport played a major part in the Johnston family’s life over many decades and the sound of red ball on willow bat is entrenched through three generations.
“I began playing cricket with my brothers when we were young lads and I played under the captaincy of my father in the Silverton cricket team. In the early days we would play against Cockburn in home and away matches. The travelling was a bit tough.”
After the war, Lionel, Ron and Allen Johnston played with the Austen and Tom Brown brothers in the St Peter’s team. Lionel then joined Central and played in Premierships in 1961-2 and 62-3. In the 1961 season Lionel created a long lasting record of 59 wickets in a season.
Because of his sensational efforts for Central over the years he became a founding member and No1 Life Member.
Through the decades Lionel played in tennis teams in Silverton, Broken Hill and the North mine with premierships resulting. Later he took on table tennis and acquitted himself very well over many years.
He is also a foundation member of the Eagles baseball club which was born from the Sunday morning tennis players. Then there is his passion for the art of golf.
“I love it. I am in the Sunrise Golfers squad but there are only two of us left as the others have passed away. My mate Neil Terrell and I hit off at daybreak and play three times a week over nine holes. It keeps us fit.”
In an outstanding effort, Lionel celebrates 50 years of involvement with the BH Football League this year. He continues to work at the Jubilee Oval and assists where possible at 90 years of age.
In 1964 he was requested to help the League when a secretary was required. “I agreed to help for a couple of weeks; I’ve been there fifty years.”
Also in his tenure he was on the SANFL Affiliated Leagues Council for 10 years.
Today Lionel volunteers his time to a sport much loved by him and for the youngsters coming through the ranks. With a wink, he said “I love driving the ride on lawn mower around the Jubilee Oval.”
The following awards were for meritorious service; SANFL merit award for service to football, National Australian Football council merit award for service to football, Commonwealth Award-Services to sport, BH City Council Australian of the Year 1987, Barrier District Cricket League Life Member, Central District Cricket Club Life Member, BH Football League Life Member, and BH Football Association Life Member.
In 1998 the Middleton medal was renamed the Lionel Johnston Medal for the BHFL’s best and fairest player and last year the BHFL meeting rooms were named Lionel Johnston House.
There are so many superlatives we can use in describing Lionel Johnston and his efforts within the community. I think we can agree that Lionel is an exceptional person and a wonderful Living Legend.

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TRIUMPHANT

Monday, 13th May, 2013

The victorious Broken Hill team after trouncing Far North at AAMI Stadium.PICTURES: Darrin Manuel The victorious Broken Hill team after trouncing Far North at AAMI Stadium.PICTURES: Darrin Manuel

By Darrin Manuel

 Broken Hill has stunned Far North and reclaimed the Miners Cup with a commanding 39 point win at AAMI Stadium.
Coach David Ruddock’s plan to outrun his opposition paid dividends as the match wore on, with Broken Hill extending its lead at each break.
The Broken Hill team got away to a shaky start in the first quarter, squandering several chances in front of goal before Nathan Kickett took a strong contested mark and kicked truly to get the team’s first major score on the board.
Far North were playing undisciplined football and often hugged the boundary, while Broken Hill surged through the middle of the ground at every opportunity to take a three-point lead into quarter time.
Codie Howard opened the second quarter in sensational style, spinning through tackles and fending off to inspire his teammates with a great goal.
Ben Perkins and Justin Heath then got involved in the scoring, slotting majors after marking inside the 50 metre arc.
Midway through the second term Far North finally found their rhythm, and kicked three of the next four goals with sharp, direct football through the corridor.
A goal to co-captain Jayden Kelly before half time maintained some breathing space, and allowed Broken Hill to take an 18-point buffer into the long break.
Kelly and Ruddock were both vocal during half time, and implored their charges to exploit the opposition’s lack of fitness.
The players responded with a workmanlike third quarter that resulted in two goals to Perkins and a trademark running goal to Anthony Henderson.
Broken Hill’s dominance led to a boilover of frustration for Far North, with one of their players punching youngster Cohen Pettitt behind play and sparking a heated response from Broken Hill.
Pettitt and his teammates would have the last laugh however, with Henderson kicking the opening goal of the last quarter before Pettitt launched a 50m bomb to secure a 39-point lead and effectively end the contest.
Far North managed two more goals in the final quarter, but never looked truly threatening as Broken Hill answered with goals to Heath and Jelbert.
Broken Hill’s best player was Centre Half Back Brenton Zanette, who shut down his opponent and controlled the backline with strong marking and spoiling.
He was well supported in defence by Jake Napier, Brent Rose and Matt Dempster who all provided significant drive out of the back half.
Jayden Kelly and Jordan Johns vindicated their selections as co-captains with outstanding performances, with Johns’ final quarter particularly impressive.
Heath Caldwell, Justin Heath, Cohen Pettitt, Codie Howard and Ben Perkins were also solid contributors throughout the match.
After the match Ruddock lauded the effort of his backline, and said all players had done their city proud.
“It was very, very good, they came out as expected and hit us hard early, but we knew we had the overall run and onball rotation to get us through,” he said.
“The backline was great, but all the players played to instruction.
“We had no passengers today, and when you take 23 players away and they all perform, you’re always going to come away pretty happy as a coach.”
The players’ efforts were appreciated by team sponsor CFMEU, who allowed the players to keep their blue and gold guernseys.
“It’s just reward for their efforts,” said BIC President, Danny O’Connor.
“We’re very proud of how the boys represented Broken Hill today, the way all players have done so over the years.
“They’ve come out and stood up for Broken Hill, and it’s just a small token of our appreciation.”
Final scores:
Broken Hill: 13.16 (94) def Far North: 8.7 (55)
Goalkickers: Perkins 3, Heath, Kickett, Henderson 2, Howard, Kelly, Pettitt, Jelbert

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Fuel thefts ‘coincidence’

Monday, 13th May, 2013

Two incidents where petrol was stolen from the Woolworths Petrol Station within half an hour on Friday appear to be unrelated.
According to police, a driver drove off without paying after pumping $45 worth of fuel.
Shortly after, another driver allegedly stole $78 worth from the same station.
The cars were not caught out by CCTV cameras because of the angle they were parked, police said.
A spokesman said that the description of the cars is “extremely vague” and police are not hopeful for witnesses as it was “very busy and people usually mind their own business.”
The spokesman said that while it was unusual for two thefts in such a short space of time, the incidents appeared to be unrelated.
“We don’t usually have a lot of petrol theft here, it is usually more of the accidental type where people forget to pay.
“It’s something that happens more in the capital cities.”
Anyone who takes fuel without paying faces a $250 infringement notice on the spot.
The person could also be charged with stealing.

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More rely on Vinnies volunteers

Monday, 13th May, 2013

The Vinnies volunteer crew can still manage a smile despite being faced with more and more needy residents each day. PICTURE: Gavin Schmidt The Vinnies volunteer crew can still manage a smile despite being faced with more and more needy residents each day. PICTURE: Gavin Schmidt

It may be National Volunteer Week, however for the volunteers at St Vincent de Paul, it is a week like any other.
The Argent Street centre has about 64 volunteers working to help the ever-growing list of needy locals.
Vinnies’ Regional Manager, Pam Sky, said the centre had seen a recent spike in residents requesting help to make ends meet.
“We’ve been very, very busy, we’ve had so many new clients it’s been unreal. You wonder where it will all end.
“People just don’t have enough money, rent is just going up and up - rent and food seem to be the main things. They just can’t survive fortnight to fortnight.”
The St Vincent de Paul Society’s 30,000 members and volunteers work hard to help people in need and combat social injustice across Australia.
Internationally, the society operates in 130 countries and has over 950,000 members.
The Broken Hill Vinnies Centre volunteers are assigned various tasks, including the collecting and sorting of preloved donations, working at the shopfront and many other tasks.
The organisation also has a number of ‘Conference Members’ who interview clients and decide on the most effective method of support.
People who are being assisted by conference members are often provided with food, clothing and household items as well as assistance with bills.
Conference members also visit hospitals, homes and other premises to provide friendship and support to the sick and/or lonely.
The Vinnies Centre in Broken Hill is also a valuable resource for people on low incomes, enabling them to buy quality clothing and other household items at an affordable price.
Centre customers also include people looking for fashionable items and all bargain hunters looking to make their dollar go a little further.
The profit from the sale of stock from the Vinnies Centre is used to provide the resources and support to people in need.
The Broken Hill Vinnies volunteers are always looking for more volunteers to assist them in this work. Even just a couple of hours a week is a great help.
They point out that volunteering is a mutually beneficial experience and there is a special sense of satisfaction you get from helping others and learning new skills.
If you are interested in volunteering please call 08 8087 5813 or visit the Vinnies website www.vinnies.org.au  .

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Adams in front

Monday, 13th May, 2013

Christine Adams has so far polled the most votes after Saturday’s City Council by-election, while Robin Sellick is a close second. Counting resumes today and the final winner could be decided on preferences. Christine Adams has so far polled the most votes after Saturday’s City Council by-election, while Robin Sellick is a close second. Counting resumes today and the final winner could be decided on preferences.

By Erica Visser

Former councillor Christine Adams is likely to win Saturday’s City Council by-election.
Six candidates ran in the election which offered just one councillor position.
It was called earlier this year after businessman John Groenendijk resigned due to ill health.
The first preference votes were counted on Saturday night, however the final result was not expected to be known until today or tomorrow.
Mrs Adams, a former councillor, had almost 24 per cent of the votes that had been counted by yesterday.
Robin Sellick was just 150 votes behind, with a figure of more than 22 per cent.
However, Mrs Adams is the second preference for the Labor team and is expected to gain many more votes on preferencing.
Labor’s Geoff Cullenward was coming in third yesterday with over 17 per cent of the counted votes.
Fourth was Tom Kennedy, with just over 13 per cent, followed by Anne Woods with 12.44 per cent.
Remaining candidate Trevor Cutjar had secured only 11 per cent of votes so far.
Mrs Adams said yesterday that she was “hopeful” about the results, but believed it was too premature to assume victory.
“I’m hopeful but I’m waiting for a definite result before I’ll comment,” she said.
Mrs Adams was a city councillor until September last year when she ran on Mr Groenendijk’s ticket but was unsuccessful.
Since then she has maintained her interest in Council, attending each of its monthly meetings as a member of the public.
Mr Sellick said yesterday that he was happy with the result regardless.
“I’m delighted that on Saturday more people voted for change than any other option,” he said.
“It’s a great sign for our future that change, which is always a contentious issue, is something that people of Broken Hill are eager to see.”

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