Maryanne and I have just spent a few pleasant days of Annual Leave, enjoying the hospitality of Port Fairy. My first time there since 1999.
As is one’s wont, the watering holes were visited. I recall from my visits there in the 1990’s former Collingwood rover Ronnie Wearmouth had the licence at the Victoria. On this visit we spent a deal of time at the Star of the West. It seems Ronny had previously held the licence there also. But what I found interesting here was the link with some Essendon players of a halcyon era.
Former ruckman/forward Ian ‘Ginger’ Anderson had strong links with the Star of the West. There is a photo of him flying for a mark in a match versus Richmond, played at VFL Park in 1971. Also there is a large article about him going back to Vietnam , working with disadvantaged children over there. His link with Vietnam? He served there with the Australian military during the conflict of the late 1960’s, early 1970’s. Flicking through an old encyclopedia of league footballers it mentions his years at Windy Hill being 1967, 1968, then 1971, the years in between being spent on active service in Vietnam. But he wasn’t the only Bomber who saw duty there, with one of the displayed articles mentioning he was one of six. The others were Keith Gent, Lindsay Mcgie, Ian Payne, Greg Perry and Bill Thompson.
The conflict in Vietnam occurred when I was but a young boy, so there are some hazy recollections. In those days I barracked for Geelong, thus remember Wayne Closter being absent, due to being on active service in Vietnam. My question(s) for fellow Knackers is: Can they jog my memory re VFL players seeing action in this conflict, and was Essendon’s contingent of six the largest representation of any VFL club ?