Chapter 7 - A Force Again! 1960 - 1969.
The 1960s must surely represent one of the most successful decades of the Club in its history. The men's and women's sections were often the largest clubs in Queensland, numerous competitions were won by both sections, club strength was strong from Under 1 Os through to Seniors, Cross Country strength re-emerged, many athletes were selected in Queensland teams and the social life of the club was strong.
The women's section was probably more successful in competition than the men's, with the women experiencing a phenomenal success rate. The club started the decade by winning the Senior A and B-grade lnterclub, the Sub-Junior A- and B-Grade interclub, the Senior and Junior Relays, the Sub-Junior Relays, the Senior Championships and the Junior Championships and were runners-up in the Sub-Junior Championship. With such a successful season, one wonders how results could be improved, but indeed they were.
In the 1963/64 season, the women swept all before them, capturing every trophy on offer from the QWAAA Competition. This is a success story that was never repeated by any club in QWAAA competition, and one which is unlikelyto be repeated again. This gained the club the Premier Club of Queensland title, which the women again won in the 19966/67 season, the 1967/68 season and the 1968/69 season.
ln Cross Country, the women competed regularly, gaining places in State Championships and athletes who earned selection in State teams included Helen Bonwick, Elizabeth Inglis, Carmel Mischlewski, Lyn Guidry and Cathy Hilton. In addition to Championships and interclub events, Joyce Bonwick organised club runs in Cross Country which were well supported by club members. During the 1960s, TEES women were among the most successful in Cross Country with Helen Bonwick, Elizabeth Inglis, Barbara Jordan and Dianne Merrick all gaining places in State Championships. ln team events, TEES was placed on several occassions, with the club's talented sprinters often assisting with the filling of teams. Joan Henriksen, Brenda Cox and Barbara Jordan were sprinters who valued the benefits of cross country running.
ln men's competition, TEES was not as successful as the women, but never-the-less many successes were experienced. The decade began with a disappointing season in 1960/61 with many members not competing regularly. The next few seasons saw improved performances, particularly from the Juniors. lt was this increased junior strength which was to be the basis for the club's strength in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The Club had six members selected in the Queensland Under 17 team in the 1962/63 season. This was the first Under 17 team for inter-state competition, and R. Colbert, B. Madsen, J. Jocumsen, P. Wruck, J. Curtis and E. Thompson were members of the first Queensland team to win a Track and Field competition against another State. From 1964 onwards, the club was particularly successful in Track and Field, winning me open in 1966/67 and placing in the top three regularly, as well as being regular winners of Under 15, Under 17 and Under 19 competitions. The winning of many under-age competitions underlined the strength ofthe club'sjunior athletes. In 1965/66, nine members were selected in the Under 17 team, this being one~third of the team. The minutes ofthe club meetings record the 1966/67 season as being the club's greatest track season, for the club won the Senior competition and the under 17 competition, and was runners-up in the Under 15 competition. A series of outstanding relay performances and some excellent performances in State Championships reflected this achievement. The minutes record :"Mn Huxleysaid that this had been the Club's greatest Track season and he drew particular attention to the efforts of E Rutledge and P. Clark among those of our many outstanding athletes of the year" The 1969/70 season was also a good one for the men, with the Under 15 interclub competition and the Association Cup for Open interclub being won, as well as the T.C. Blue Trophy for Relays. These results were "capped off" by excellent results in State Championships. The Cross Country strength of TEES was very poor in 1960/61 but under the guidance of Miles Vass, a strong team was slowly assembled, and by 1964/65 the club was third in Open and Under 15, and first in the Under 17 competition. ln the following year, the Club won Open, Under 17 and Under 15 competitions (a clean sweep), as well as gaining numerous places in the State Championships. Unfortunately this strength was short-lived, and the strength of Cross Country in the rest of the 1960s was fairly weak. The reason for this was the formation of Mt. Gravatt AAC, which attracted 25 members of TEES, mainly distance runners under the guidance of Miles Vass, who was the person who started Mt. Gravatt Club. After absorbing other clubs in the past (e.g. Cannon Hill, Bulimba, East Brisbane), having members leave TEES to form a new club was a shock to TEES, and the club took 15 years to regain any sort of strength in Cross Country. The Annual Report of 1966 records :"Your club had its most successful year ever in Cross Country with large attendances of both athletes and officials right through the season and almosfa clean sweep was made ofthe major events in this section of athletics in Queensland".
Road walking also experienced a resurgence in the 1960s with Syd Bray, George Buck, Len Buck and Brian Carmen winning and placing in many Championships and often gaining State selection. ln International Competitions, the club was represented in the 1962 Commonwealth Games in Perth by Chilla Porter, Bob Brown and Brenda Cox. Joyce Bonwick, R. Dun, W. Huxley, M. Belshore, E. Martin and J. Forrest were all chosen as officials for the Games.
TEES athletes experienced success at these Games, with Brenda Cox gaining a bronze medal in the 100m sprint and a gold medal in the 4x100m relay, as well as contestsing the 200m. Bob Brown earned a bronze medal in the Hammer throw with a series of good performances.
Other athletes who performed well at a very high level in the 1960s included manyjuniors and some seniors. ln the men’s section, Eddie Rutledge proved to be an outstanding sprint talent, winning the National Junior 100 metres three years in succession in 1966, 1967 and 1968, as well as breaking the National Junior record several times. The TEES 4x400 metres relay team of R. Cooke, M. Garratty, l/_ Goddard and R. Marshall also broke the National Under 19 Record. State record-breakers included Paul Wruck, Bob Brown, Eddie Rutledge, Peter Clark, Phillip Byth, Syd Bray, Richard Priman and Robert Johnston. Athletes who were prominent in State Championships included Eddie Rutledge, Bill Knobel, Trevor May, Dave Palmer, Gary Lochel, and Danny Counihan in the sprints; Ray Long, Ron and Robert Johnston and Trevor May in the Hurdles; Phillip Byth, Dave Sirl, and Neville Meyer in the distance events; Syd Bray in the walks; Paul Wruck, Peter Donohue, Peter Clark and Richard Priman in the throws; Russell Luke, Doug Cave, Nonn Burke, Peter Davis, Errol Vickers and Robert Chan in the jumps.
ln the women’s section, Brenda Cox, Heather Doherty, Joan Henriksen, Lenore Liscombe, Sue-Ellen Breden, Judy Pringle, and Denise Robertson all placed at National Championships. Joan Henriksen and Lenore Liscombe were both controversial omissions from the 1966 Commonwealth Games team, for Joan was National Champion in the 100m and runner-up in the 200m and 400m while Lenore was third in the long jump.
Brenda Cox, Louise McPaul, Sandra Casson, Denise O’Connor, Joan Henriksen, Lenore Liscombe, Denise Robertson and Cathy Hilton were among those who broke State records while TEES broke numerous relay records, reflecting the club’s strength and depth of talent.
Among those who performed creditably at State Championships were Brenda Cox, Joan Henriksen, Lenore Liscombe, Louise McPaul, Denise Robertson, Kay Beauchamp, Olwyn Trim, A. Riley and Barbara Jordan in the sprints; W. Roberts, D. Merrick and Elizabeth Inglis in distance events; Brenda Cox, Sandra Casson, Denise O’Connor, Shona McKinlay, Lenore Liscombe and V. Harnpson in hurdles; Sandra Casson, Lenore Liscombe, R. Williams, V. Eisner, Denise O’Connor, Shona McKinlay, L. Guidry, Sue- Ellen breden, C. Godwin, Sandra Byth, and G. Robertson in the jumps; Heather Doherty, Sandra Casson, Sue-Ellen Breden, Cathy Hilton, Judy Pringle and T. Hilton in the throws.
In the early 1960s, TEES attempted a major form of fund raising in conjunction with Rocklea Harriers (now Southern Suburbs). The two clubs combined to conduct a major art union, with a Holden Special Sedan as the major prize. This was conducted over many months, and eventually both clubs gained several hundred Pounds in profit. Club Championships were held regularly during the 1960s, with Lang Park being the venue. In these, both men’s and women’s sections of the club competed, and athletes had an enjoyable and competitive event. Other social events conducted included Christmas parties, Club camps, car rallies, film nights and bus trips.
The club Social Committee functioned strongly during these years, and it is to the credit of Frank Knight, Gordon Hodge, Joan henriksen, Lenore Liscombe and many others that the club was a strong social group, as well as the strongest athletic club. The social committee was also responsible for the introduction in 1964 of "TEES Times", the first regular club newsletter. This newsletter was produced by Frank Knight, and though it lasted for only a couple of years, it contributed to the successful functioning of the club. The club had a rather unsettled decade in relation to home grounds, beginning at Hanlon Park, moving to Jones Park and finishing at Langlands Park. The move to Jones Park was made with the intention of establishing this ground as TEES headquarters, with lights and good athletic training facilities. Eventually, the cost of developing facilities proved beyond the financial resources of the club, and when Langlands Park facilities were made available, the Club moved willingly and the club was to use the ground for 10 years.
With lights already existing at Langlands Park, the club was able to successfully conduct evening meets on Wednesday nights to cater for athlete’s needs. These carnivals were well supported by a small number of clubs, and generally filled a need in the Brisbane athletic scene.
The club continued to cater for schools, and when, in 1968, the Bonwick Memorial carnival was discontinued, the club filled the gap by introducing the Southside High Schools Carnival which was conducted on the same basis. This carnival was conducted until 1973 when lack of support from the local high schools and colleges forced the cancellation of the Carnival. Camp Hill, Cavendish Ftoad, Brisbane and Yeronga High Schools were the most successful schools in this competition.
The 1963 committee were responsible for reviewing the club’s constitution, and making changes to this. A constitution is a set of rules under which the club must operate, and this constitution stood, with minor changes, until another review in 1978. This same committee was also credited with the introduction of Life Members Badges which have been used without change to the present day.
ln 1965, TEES AAC conducted a club dinner at the Milton Lawn Tennis Club, Milton. This was the club’s 65th Anniversary and was attended by some 90 club members and supporters.
The QAAA at this time was experiencing considerable financial difficulty, and an offer was made by TEES to loan the QAAA the sum of Eight Hundred Dollars in 1965. This was not accepted. However, by 1966, the QAAA had no choice but to accept the offer, which is detailed on the agreement on the following pages. This money was repaid by QAAA and TEES can be proud of the assistance it has provided to QAAA. Again, in 1969, TEES raised over $4000 forthe QAAA Appeal Fund, as well as raising funds for the Fton Clarke Foundation Appeal.
ln 1967, a scheme for the introduction of Little Athletics in Queensland was proposed. A proposal for TEES to also form a Little Athletics Club was made. In 1969, the then secretary of TEES, Cyril Miles, propsed that TEES should form a Little Athletics Club at Langlands Park, and be responsible for its operation. This suggestion was never implemented, but in hindsight, it is probably a great pity that the Committee did not pursue this idea.
Joyce and Alben Bonwick, who between them had been responsible for the successful operation of the women’s club since 1950, resigned as women’s section officials in 1968, thus ending an era in the history of the club. lan Robertson was elected to take their place as women’s club secretary. The 1960s saw TEES as the strongest club in Queensland and this continued into the early 1970s.