My Mother

There is a funeral service for my mother, this Friday, 11/3 at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Maidstone. My mother died on Monday 7/3,  five weeks short of her 85th birthday.

I looked at Yvette Wroby’s marvellous posting re her mother Elfie. I’m maybe not as articulate in some ways, but I will share on this forum a tribute to my mother, because sport, like loving her gardening and cooking, caring for others, especially her beloved midwifery, and voting ALP, was about who she was.

A good Catholic girl she came down to Melbourne in 1954 to do her midwifery. She’d completed her general nursing back home in Corowa, now the big smoke beckoned. That was the year Footscray won their first and only premiership. She was from then on a committed supporter of the Bulldogs. I remember winter Saturdays her listening to the footy on 3KZ, or 3LO, cheering her beloved Footscray.

I decided at the age of six to support Geelong. A few years later, 1972,  my parents took me to my first game, Geelong v Footscray at Kardinia Park. I was very confident, Footscray not having won there since 1945. At three quarter time Geelong held a good lead, me thinking my first game would be a Geelong win; Footscray by three points!!! A tearful drive home for yours truly.

I recall going with her to matches at the Western Oval. We were there the day Neil Sachse had his tragic collision with Kevin O’Keefe, and a few other days, such as the time Robbie Muir found himself over the fence, next to where were sitting. Watching players like Bernie Quinlan, Stephen Power, Barry Round, Ray Huppatz and others of that time, always made her happy. My mother would have her thermos of hot tea and home made bikkies to while away the arvo.

There have been some good footballers come from Corowa, like the Houlihan brothers, John Longmire, Greg Lambert and Peter Chisnall. I shall briefly talk about the latter. Back in 2013, when Peter still had the Tungamah Hotel we took my mother up there for lunch. Though my mother’s health was waning, with her memory fading, she was happy to catch up with Peter. Peter showed her his 1975 North Melbourne premiership medal which certainly impressed her. Peter spoke about how my nan, my mother’s mother, used to do the sandwiches for the Corowa players and other stories from the old days in Corowa. It was a lovely time.

This Sunday is Corowa Cup, but there’s no local runners in the Cup. There’s actually only two Corowa horses running on the day; not a great turn out for the locals. However the last bet I had before my mother died was the Richard Freyer trained Knight Espirit at Wangaratta last Sunday. It won, which for me was a Corowa win for my mother. It made us happy.

Vale Margaret,




  1. Great memories Glen. Condolences. I can see where you got a lot of your compassion and social conscience.

  2. A wonderful, touching story Glen, condolences to you and your family. I read it when I arrived home from my doctor in Brisbane who is going to a wedding in Corowa next weekend; needless to say, I’ve sent him your story.
    Corowa for me was the ‘big smoke’ down the road from Rand when I carted wheat there amongst other rouseabout roles in the mid-late ’60s. I had forgotten about Chisnall but we spoke of the ‘Horse’ and the Houlihans today and reminisced that those who run the game think blokes like that grow on trees, they seem to have no appreciation of the nurturing of such lads by people like your nan and mum who comprise the backbone of grass roots footy.
    God bless her memory forever.

  3. Thanks for the kind thoughts Peter and Tadge. Appreciated.

    Gee whiz Tadge, Rand is out in the sticks. If my memory is still working, it’s between Lockhart and Urana . I believe one of Dan Morgan’s more infamous raids was on a squatters property near Rand.


  4. Dave Brown says

    Hope the funeral tomorrow is an opportunity to relive the finest of memories, Glen. Have been to one or two wineries in the area. Beautiful part of the world.

  5. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Condolences Glen, that’s a fine story about a fine person.

    As coincidence would have it, I visited the Western Oval for the first time in 20 years during my lunchtime walk today.

  6. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Condolences Glen.
    You got to see some pretty handy champions watching Footscray with your mum. Cherish the memories.

  7. All the best Glen, sorry for your loss. There’s some lovely memories in here, some wonderful family moments. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Cowshedend says

    So sorry to hear of your dear mums passing Glen
    Vale Margaret

  9. E.regnans says

    All the best to you and your family.
    Go well.

  10. Carry her voice with you to Doggies games this season and beyond. Sympathies to you and your family.

  11. Peter Clark says

    My condolences to you and your family Glen. Your story of Margaret and her beloved Corowa is heart warming.
    Coincidentally, Peter Chisnall and my Dad played cricket together in Albury back in the sixties. I remember him as a very fun-loving bloke.

  12. Yvette Wroby says

    Hi Glen,
    I tried emailing you back after your comment after my posting on my Mum. It’s a lovely tribute to Margaret that you have shared here. I wish you all strength, happiness and especially health. The book that I have been writing about football and family this year is full of my Mum Elfie, and the last year of her life, as it turned out. She is with me in my heart always, as will Margaret be in you and yours.

  13. Thanks everyone for you kind and thoughtful comments. We had a last goodbye today at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, My mother would have been proud of the Requiem Mass in her honour.

    Sunday we’re heading up to where it all started: Corowa. Catch up with family friends on track and hopefully get some collects.


  14. Hi Glen,

    I’m sorry to hear about your loss of your mother.

    Your story of your mother is such a touchable and impressing. It is sad for Bulldogs and Footscray to lose such a great and passionate supporter. I’m sure your mother wanted to see the second flag.

    RIP Margaret.


  15. A lovely tribute to your mother, Glen!
    R.I.P., Margaret.

  16. Luke Reynolds says

    Condolences Glen.
    Wonderful tribute.

  17. Hi Yvette, i didn’t receive your e-mail. I was hoping to reply but yours hasn’t reached me.


  18. Glen, Mein aufrichtiges Beileid zum Tod Ihrer Mutter im Marx 2016. (My sincere condolences on the loss of your mother back in March 2016).

    2016 was a very sad year for me too as I lost my nephew, who I was very fond of, to mental health issues, in February 2016. He was only a month and a half short of his 28th birthday.

    My father was born in the same year as your mother, but he passed away aged 76, in 2008, to pneumonia.

    I remember you also writing that your mother was a nurse and worked at one stage for Dr George Tribe, when I wrote my team of Australian rules footballers and Test cricketers, under your article of Footballers of German Origin.

    It was also very sad that your mother passed away only 6 months before her beloved Western Bulldogs won their 2nd flag in 2016 flag, 62 years after their 1st flag in 1954.

    Sydney won their 4th flag in 2005, 72 years after their 3rd flag as South Melbourne in 1933.

    At least your mother had a good innings of nearly 85.

    I hope, touch wood, that I am still alive and have a sense of reality if and when St Kilda win their 2nd flag. Of course, St Kilda had to wait 69 years for their 1st flag in the then VFL, and it’s now 55 years and still counting for their next flag. I know that currently Melbourne has a 57 year premiership drought, but at least they have still won 12 flags, even if Hawthorn were only 1 flag when Melbourne won its 12th flag in 1964 and it’s now 13 flags to Hawthorn and still 12 flags to Melbourne.

    I was only a year and a half old in 1966 when St Kilda won its only flag to date, so I don’t remember it. Strangely, Ross Lyon, who was close to coaching St Kilda to a flag in the 2009 Grand Final, and the 2010 drawn Grand Final, was born a few months after St Kioda won its only flag to date in 1966. Likewise, you were born in the year Geelong won the flag in 1963, so obviously you don’t remember it. Had you been actually born then?

    Did your mother go the 1954 Grand Final, Footscray’s 1st flag? Unfortunately, my father had tickets to the 1966 Grand Final but he had to give them away because something important was on but at least he could still listen to the match on the radio. His best friend, also a St Kilda supporter, couldn’t go to The VFL Grand Final in 1966 because his daughter was born on the same day St Kilda won that flag on Saturday, September 24th 1966.

    Anyway, if it doesn’t happen to me that St Kilda win another flag in my lifetime, it’s not the end of the world because our health is more important, although a flag would be nice. At least, you have witnessed so far 3 Grand Final wins in 2007, 2009 and 2011 by Geelong. Did you go to the MCG on those day premiership winning days for all those 3 flags?

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