Chapter 8 - Decline Again 1970 - 1979The club commenced the 1970s in much the same fashion as it tinished the 1960s - strong in Track and Field in both men‘s and women’s, but relatively weak in Cross Country.
In Inter-club competition, the women were a strong club in the early part of the 1970s, winning many interclub competitions and placing in others on the track. ln Cross Country, however, the only successes were winning the Juvenile competition in 1977, and placing third in interclub in 1971. The success on the track was a result of a small but talented band of senior women, coupled with many talented junior athletes. The 1975/76 season proved to be the best with the club winning the Senior Championships, A- grade interclub, Junior Championships, Junior interclub, D-grade interclub, B-grade interclub, Sub- Junior relays and interclub and the Juvenile competition.
The men also experienced successful seasons, with the best being the 1971/72 season when the Association Cup and Bulley Shield for senior interclub were won, along with the T.C. Blue Relay Trophy. ln the same season, the club was runners-up in the Junior and Under 17 competition. Cross Country success was limited to a third placing in B-grade interclub in 1977/78 and 1979/80. The latter part ot the 1970s saw TEES begin to slide from its position as the most powerful club in Queensland, in both men’s and women’s competitions. At the same time, the slow re-emergence of Cross Country late ln the 1970s was a fore-runner of the success experienced in the Cross Country in the 19805.
At the international level, Denise Robertson (Boyd) rose to prominence at this time, representing Australia at the 1974 and 1978 Commonwealth Games and the 1976 Olympic Games. Denise’s international representation continued until the 1982 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane. Although she moved to melbourne in 1978, she remained interested in the success of TEES at all times. Denise’s most outstanding success came in the 200 metres in Edmonton Commonwealth games in 1978 where she won the Gold Medal in the 200 metres, and established a Commonwealth Games Record.
Sue Jowett, another of the club’s outstanding sprinters, represented New Zealand at the Montreal Olympics ln 1976, whilst a member of TEES. Barbara Wilson (nee Jordan) also represented Australia at the Olympics in 1976, but at this time was a member ot University Club after transferring from TEES. Gary Brown also represented Australia, after being a member of TEES for many years. Dianne Harley represented the Club and the QWAAA on a junior tour to Japan in 1979. Denise, Barbara, and Sue combined with Raelene Boyle to set a World Record in 4x200 metres Relay in an intemational meeting at Q.E.|l in 1976, this being the tirst and only World Record established by TEES members, as well as being the tirst World Record on the Q.E. II track.
Denise Robertson established a National record in the 200 metres, while Fred Holpen established a National Record in the Long Jump in 1973/74. In the men’s events, State records were set by Norm Burke (High Jump), Neil Hodge (Long Jump), J. Browing (Long Jump), Les Curran (Hurdles), Fred Holpen (Long and Triple Jump), Paul Cockbum (High Jump), Gary Brown (Hurdles), Mark Tarrant (400 and 1500 metres) and Rodney Clemens (Discus). The women were prolifiic record breakers with Tanya Baker (\Nalk, Long Jump and High Jump), Celine Van Deuse (Long Jump and Shotput), Denise Robertson (100, 200 and 400 metres), D. Smith (Shotput), J. Smith (Shotput), Joanne Vincent (Shotput), Debbie Bull (200 metres), Rowena Maclean (High Jump) all breaking records.
On an individual basis, success at National Championships was experienced by several athletes including Norm Burke in High Jump (2nd Under 19), Les Curran in 400 metres Hurdles (2nd and 3rd), Fred Holpen in Long Jump (1st Under 19). and Triple Jump (3rd Under 19), lan Rushton in 110 metres Hurdles (3rd Under 19), Malcolm Scott in Long Jump (2nd Under 19), and Michael Yung in 110 metres Hurdles (1st Under 19). In the women’s championships, Denise Robertson won and placed in many championships In 100, 200 and relays. Other placegetters included Barbara Jordan (relays), Sue Jowett (relays), Kym Moss (2nd Long Jump) and Dianne Harley in long jump (3rd) and hurdles (1st twice). Leading female athletes included Denise Robertson, Barbara Jordan, Sue Jowett, Celine Van deuse, Janet Whyte, Dianne and Kerry Harley and Kerry Johnson in the sprints; Kerry Steele, Jill Rogers and Sandra Priestley in distance events, ; Kerry and Dianne Harley, Rowena Maclean, Kym Moss, Donna Grodecki in hurdles; Kerry Harley, Diannna Harley, Kym Moss, Donna Grodecki, and Sandra Priestley in long jump; Rowena Maclean and Donna Grodecki in High Jump; Heather Doherty, Judy Fischer, Debbie Bradfleld, Rowena Maclean, and Margot Shaw in the throws; L. Doherty and Donna Grodecki in the walks; and Glenda Ash and Jill Rogers in the Cross Country events. Leading male athletes included Don Morris, Gary Brown, Les Curran, lim Tresize, Malcolm Scott, Michael Yung and lan Rushton in the sprints; Brad Williams, Lew Kereszteny, Jeff Tarrant, Mark Tarrant in the distance events; Les Curran, Rodeny Clemens, Gary Brown, lan Rushton, Micheal Yung and Paul Cockburn in the hurdles; Paul Cockbum, Peter Harley, Rodney Clemens, Martin Dawson, Colin Bastable, Peter Roney, Gary Brown, Malcolm Scott, Fred Holpen and Norm Burke in the jumps; J. Holpen, Rodney Clemens and Paul Austin in the throws; Grant and Kevin Davis in Cross Country and John Harris, Peter Sproules and Lawrence Colclough in the walks. The club was based at Langlands Park for a number of years, and then at Camp Hill High School. While at Langlands Park, the twilight meets on Wednesday evenings continued until the opening of Q.E. ll in 1975, when these events were transfened to the new synthetic track, but still run by TEES until 1982. Walking was also fairly strong at this time with John Harris being the leading road walker along with Brian Carman.
Social events conducted included club camps, Annual Presentation Nights, Christmas Parties and Poolside BBQS, though these tended to diminish with the declining fortunes ofthe club later in the decade. The club unifonn again was altered, with the red, white and blue vertical striped singlet being replaced by a white singlet with one red and one blue hoop for men, along with royal blue shorts for men instead of white. The women‘s uniform remained unaltered, being a white blouse, with red and blue diagonal stripes and royal blue briefs.
Another regular feature of TEES life also disappeared, this being the Southside High Schools Carnival which was abandoned because of lack of support from schools. The development of athletics in the schools meant that schools took the responsibility for organising their own carnivals. Yeronga (boys) and Cavendish Road (girls) were the last schools to win this event.
One ofthe most exciting developments in Queensland athletics for many years occurred with the opening of the Q.E. ll synthetic track ln 1975. This meant that men's and women’s athletics now met at the one venue for the first time in the history of Queensland athletics, and provided Queensland athletes with facilities equal to the best in the world.
The performance of the club in Cross Country was miserable. After winning in 1965, TEES did not contest cross country in the 1970s until 1976 when John Harris, Grant and Kevln Davis and Robert Schofield formed a team to compete in QAAA events and gradually improved from C-grade to B-grade. The women too, through athletes such as Jill Rogers, made their presence felt in Cross Country again. The rise of the Cross Country and distance events continued in 1979, with the club winning the most improved team in the Caboolture-Maleny Relay with a team cf Kevin Davis, Grant Davis, John Harris, Lloyd Baron, Roland Singleton, Warren Fleming and Brad Williams.
The Club administration remained strong with Cyril Miles, Ian Robertson and Doug Cave all being secretaries of the club in this period, and Wally Huxley being Chairman. The club also provided ample contribution to QAAA at this time through Wally Huxley, Jack Forrest and Sam Martin, and to the QWAAA through Joyce and Albert Bonwick and Beatrice Mills. The contribution of this club to Association activities has been very strong at most times during its existence.
The realisation that to get the club back to a position of prominence required additional finance prompted a new fund raising opportunity - weekly rattles at the Australian National Hotel in East Brisbane which were commenced by Don Henderson and continued by Ken Collins, Doug Cave and Greg Eales with assistance from many athletes and parents. These additional finances enabled the club to offer various incentives to athletes, and travel subsidies, relay entry fees paid by the club, and tracksuits on being selected in a Queensland team were all originally hnanced from these ratfles. A club camp at minimal cost to members was also financed from these raffles.
The club also participated in a compilation ofa “History of Coorparoo" atthis time, and some of the information regarding the club is contained in the history. Club Tshirts were also introduced in 1979.
Thus, the period ofthe 1970s could be summarised as one of fluctuating fortunes - strength, followed by decline, but with signs of hope for the future.