Hall of Fame honour
Wednesday, 2nd December, 2015
Two Broken Hill rope quoits players have been inducted into the game’s national Hall of Fame.
The honour was bestowed by the Australian Rope Quoit Council on 90-year-old Ted Meadows and another veteran and nine-times national champion, Milton Hawke Senior.
Ted was described as an outstanding administrator who helped to firmly establish the game in the city. He also spent years perfecting the art of making quoits - that is, fitting the rope on the steel ring, splicing the rope and then baking the quoits in a secret solution that he developed.
Ted would then bind each quoit with coloured twine to finish them off.
In the early he worked on the North Mine surface and in his spare time always had a quoit in his hand, said Mr Hawke Snr.
“I can remember going to Ted’s place after school to be taught the art of throwing. I was only 15 years old but Ted took the time. I was on the peg next to where all his home-made gear for making these things were.
“If I started to look around, Ted would jump on me to stop and chat me for snooping. But we got along very well.
“How many sets Ted has made would be in the hundreds, only Ted would know, but he made perfect sets and from the 1970s through to the 1990s I took a big box away to the Nationals every year and came home with them all sold.
“Ted had the reputation of being the best quoit maker in Australia. Many old quoit makers came to Broken Hill to find out the secret recipe that Ted used to boil his finished product, but he would send them away...
“I can remember a fire in his back shed where he was baking. The firies came to put out the fire and one of the firies asked Ted what was the flammable liquid in the shed. Ted said he suspected they were trying to steal his secret solution!”
Mr Hawke said Ted played for the Legion Club and was always willing to help anyone.
On Sunday, he celebrated the Hall of Fame honour at the local quoits presentation day and caught up with old team members and opponents including Frank Picken from the Imperial Hotel, Keith Chynoweth (Legion) and Mick Davey (Pinders Baker) who presented Ted with his award.
Ted was accompanied by his wife and son Dean.
His fellow inductee to the Australian Rope Quoits Hall of Fame, Milton Hawke Snr, started playing quoits at about eight years old and kept a peg right beside his bed at home in Silverton.
“My dad, Milton Charles Hawke, started to play the game when we arrived at Silverton in 1954,” he said.
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“The family took over the store and post office and dad played for the team called Silverton Hotel. We had over 36 teams in those days, so it was very big. “One of my first games was at the Wilcannia Club Hotel on the corner of Oxide and Crystal streets. After the game I had to leave the pub and wait till dad was finished and we would drive home in the Kombi van to Silverton.”
When Silverton withdrew from the Quoits Association the Hawkes joined the Legion Club.
“I started to have throwing lessons with Ted Meadows at his home right up until I left school in 1967.”
Milton became one of two local juniors selected to go to Melbourne for the Australian Titles, The other was the late Daryl Kain whom he described “a “natural”.
“Daryl made the final only to be beaten by a young Geelong player call Philip Long.”
Milton moved to Broken Hill in 1974 and started to practice the 1001 game.
“After over 12 attempts at the Nationals my first big breakthrough was runner-up in 1978 then 1979 to John Sproat. My biggest scalp in 1978 was beating the defending Australian champion Keith Ralph in the semi final.”
Six years later Milton won his first Australian Champion in 1984, defeating John Sproat.
In 1986 he won his second title and went on to be the Australian champion in 1988, 1992, 1994, 1997, 2007, 2009 and 2010.
Now, in the last five years, he has won four Veterans’ national titles.
Milton was also President of the Australian Rope Quoits Council in the 1970s and Vice Chairman for 30-odd years.