Chapter 2 - The Roaring TWENTIES 1920-1929
The term "The Roaring Twenties" could easily apply to Thompson Estate Harriers Amateur Athletic Club during the 1920's. The Harriers were the Champion Club of Queensland in 1920, 1921, 1923, 1925, 1926, and 1929 - a remarkable achievement; R. W. Cook (1921) and H. V. Scouller (1923) were named Champion All-Round Athlete of Queensland; G. Lewis won the first ever Queensland Decathlon Championship; Thompson Estate Harriers won the Wallace Bishop Cup for Champion Indoor Games Club of Queensland in 1923 and 1924; the Club also won the Cross Country Championship of Queensland in 1920 and was runners-up in 1921 and 1923 and third in 1922 and 1929; the juniors won the title of Most Successful Junior Club of Queensland in 1920, were runners-up in 1927 and were third in 1926.
On an individual basis, a number of athletes were outstanding. National records were awarded to Harry
Howsan (Standing High Jump 4ft. 1 Oins) and E. Keskinen (Decathlon). The jump of H. Howsan is the first recorded National Record by a Thompson Estate Harriers' athlete. J.A. Prout won the first ever Javelin Championship of Queensland; J.J. Enright was a prolific medal-winner in high jump and hurdles; J. Corrigan was outstanding in the walking events. Other prominent athletes included H.V.Scouller (second Australian 100 yards and 120 yards hurdles Cham[pionships in 1924), E. Keskinen (first club Australian champion in Pole Vault, and a prolific placegetter in javelin, discus, shotput, pole vault and decathlon), G. Lewis (Australian champion in shotput and discus), C. Evans (long jump), W.H. Axelsen (Walks) and L.C.Parker (100 yards Australian Champion).
(Left: L. C. Parker. 100 yards champion of Australia)
(Right: H. V. Scouller. 2nd in 100 yards Australian Championship, 2nd in 120 yards hurdles Championship of Asutralia)
The 1920 season also saw the introduction of Club Championships, in the form of a club sports carnival. In 1921, the Q.A.A.A. introduced an indoor games competition for clubs, Thompson Estate Harriers performed creditably in this competition, being runners-up in the Wallace Bishop Cup in 1921 and being Champions in 1923 and 1924.
In the Nissen Cup competition for Champion Club of Queensland, the following teams were successful:
1920 : G. Lewis, A.V.Acworth, J. Robertson, C.B.Moon, J.J. Enright, J.A. Prout, J. Corrigan and V. Collins.
1921 : EW.Cook, G. Lewis, J.J. Enright, J. Corrigan, W.C. Eccles, R.E. Stephens, C. Brown, C. Bracewell,
H. Morris, and W.H. Franklin
1923 : H.V. Scouller, H.E. Hunter, G. Lewis, J. Corrigan, J.J. Enright, H. Morris and W.C. Eccles 1925 : Team Unknown
1926 : A.C.S. Clark, H. Walling, E. Keskinen, H. Hedrick, H. Pontynen, G. Lewis, S.G. West, A.T. Beak, W.H. Axelsen, L. Jones and C. Evans
1929 : R. Uppman, W.H. Axelsen, E.A. Drevesen, D. Uppman, H. Hedrick, T. Walker, W.J. Lightbody, S. Fahey and D.J. Daly
The Club was also runners-up in this competition in 1922, 1924 and 1928, being narrowly defeated by one point on each occassion.
The mid-1920's saw the introduction of a Q.AAA. interclub pennant competition, and Thompson Estate Harriers was successful in winning the first competition in 1926. The 1927 Club Annual Report records, "For the first time in the history of Queensland athletics, the governing body staged an inter-club pennant competition. The events set down were the same as for the Queensland Championship programme, with the exception of the walks. Points were alloted as follows: 3 for 1 st, 2 for 2nd, and 1 for 3rd. Your club was successful in winning this competition, thereby winning the Q.A.A.A. Pennant. Members who were successful in gaining points were E. Keskinen, H. Hedrick, C. Evans, H. Pontynen, A.T. Beak, S. Wrangen, C. Brown, A. McLeod. To all these members and to all members who took part, we offer our congratulations."
The year of 1929 marked the move of Thompson Estate Harriers to the Brisbane Cricket Ground. Prior to this, competiton had been held on roads in Thompson Estate, and on fields now known as Hanlon Park, Stones Corner and Langlands Park, Coorparoo. At the opening of that season, the Committee decided not to hold the usual Club Run meetings on the road at night and Messrs. W.C. Thompson and Les Nissen were authorised to seek suitable grounds on which to hold the events on each Saturday afternoon. No suitable grounds were available in the District. The Committee decided to hold the events on the Brisbane Cricket Ground on each Thursday night, and the ground became the Club's Track and Field headquarters.The same year saw the formation of the Queensland Women's Amateur Athletics Association, and Thompson Estate Harriers was a foundation member of this association.
The Club also experienced disappointments during these years, including the death of R.D. Bagguley and withrdawing from interclub after leading in 1928-29. From The Sports Referee, Oct 9th 1920.
"YOUNG CHAMPION'S REGRETTABLE DEATH By the sudden death of that most promising young champion athlete, 'Dick" Baggaley, who became ill on Thursday week, and was laid to his final rest on Monday, a great gloom was cast throughout the athletic world, and particularly amongst his clubmates of the Thompson Estate Harriers. Tetanus was the immediate cause of his death. He was only 15 years of age lastMay. He won last year the 100 yards (Under 15) Championship of the Church of England Grammar School, and was the first junior to join his Club this season. In the Queensland Junior Championships, he won the 100 yards Championship, and ran second in the 220 yards Championship (Under 16).
He also ran second in the 100 yards "Nissen Handicap" Under 16. He won the 100 yards Championship of the Club Under 16, and in the Queensland Secondary Schools Association Championships, he gained third place in the 100 yeards (Under 16). He was undoubtedly one of the finest exponents at cricket, football and swimming for his age. At the Church of England Grammar School Sports recently, he won the 100 yards, 220 yards, and 440 yards, and Long Jump Championships, thus winning Dr. J.H.S. Jackson's valuable cup and the title "Champion of the School".
Conflict and dispute do not belong only to modern day society and modern day athletics, for the 1929 Club Annual Report records: "Your club again entered the Interclub competition, but after competing the first Saturday and tieing with the ultimate winners, Kelvin Grove AAC, your Committee decided (under the then prevailing circumstances), to withdraw from the Competition." The Annual Report does not reveal the exact nature of the dispute, but to withdraw when leading the competition seems a drastic measure which a Committee would surely use only in extreme circumstances.
Thompson Estate Harriers was also strengthened in this time by having some of its members playa leading role in the Q.A.A.A.. Mr. J. Durston was treasurer of the Q.AAA. in the early 1920s while Mr. L.W. Nissen was secretary of the Q.A.AA for most of this time, thus increasing his involvement in athletics, and the contribution of the club to the strength of the QAA.A.
Back row: 1. Brown, J. Dove, J. Overland, W. J. M'Carthy, S. Fahey, D. Uppman, T. Scan, L. G. Delbridge, G. L. Towner. Third row: G. Ruddick (trainer), A. J. Thomas, P. J. Salter, R. Fay, H. E. Howcroft, J. Brooksbank, E. Guyomar, G. B. Miles, H. J. W0l11ungton, S. Muddle (handIcapper). Second row: B. Brown, D. C. Barnicle, W. Humberdross, L. Farry, W. C. Thomp~on (hon. general secretary), L. T. Weston (vice president), N. Munro, D. Williamson, T .. J. Gallaoher, Joe M'Carthy. Front row: F. M. Guyomar (vice-president), W. T. PhIpps (vlce-presldent)~ J. A. Donnan (vice-patron), W. J. Lightbody (captain), L. Nissen (presIdent), A. Bonwlck (vlce-captam), D. S. Carter (vice-president), H. Hunter (vice-president), Aldennan 1. l. Brown. In front: Masters S. W. and C. E. Nissen.