VAFA Premier B – Fitzroy v Old Scotch: Deo Gratias, Bambino Nino


Deo Gratias, Bambino Nino


One Hundred and three souls, (I am reliably informed by keyboard word and number cruncher Kate ‘galloping gastronome’ Nolan), attended the Premier’s premiere at the Clifton Hill /Fitzroy Community Rooms on the occasion of Reds Foundation Political Polemic IV as guests of Madame President Joan Eddy and joint Masters of Ceremonies Richard “ABC” Willingham and Peter “Out rage us” Hille.


Peter indicated to the gathered throng that though they had paid $45.00 for their luncheon they were not obliged to eat that sum’s worth of food as there were some other trimmings namely – ‘prime’ entertainment and bonhomie- to be enjoyed as  well; and so it was, though in the outcome there was a cornucopia for all to savour and be sated should their appetite match their inclination.


Once upon a time in the 1920s & 1930s SP (Starting Price ) Bookies reigned in the back streets of Fitzroy and Collingwood. Many penniless mothers and grandmothers put the meagre earnings filched from their often beer soaked spouses trouser pockets in trust of these spivs and touts in the sometimes valid hope that a nag would help feed the family for a fortnight. One such horse, Phar Lap for a brief , fleeting and enchanted moment in time did indeed put a roast dinner before the mean street urchins to gormandise to satiation as was the privilege of the luncheon diners last Saturday. These juveniles were in bliss of the paused little heart beats of their family Matriarchs whom had ridden with Jim Pike every rain soaked or baked dry furlong of turf that ‘Big Red’ strode at the previous race meet.


Nowadays the same now salubrious suburbs have a Northern Metropolitan SP (Sex Party) leader and member of Parliament. On her late arrival with minder and both semble oblivious to the parable of the lowest seat at the banquet and encouraged, nay beguiled, to do so by the dulcet Siren tones of the incorrigible Peter “come in s(p)inner” Hille took the vacant seats reserved for the even later arriving Premier and his Minister for Planning, our very own Dick Wynne, only to be told by Peter “Hille lair ious” in his best Stentorian style that the member and minder would have to cross the floor, Parliamentary style, to a back bench.


The Premier on arrival paid immediate personal homage to our former State Treasurer and presently stroke stricken but recovering Tom Roper in a commendable display of humility and respect for a legend of his political party. Such reverence was not paid by Peter Peter “Poli beater” who in his preamble ramble before the arrival of the present day MPs had acknowledged everyone in the room from the hard working volunteer RSA members (Peter and Rob) behind the bar and the Spitting Image Caterers carvery team to Sponsors and Life Members including Val Allpress, whom we know contrary to Hille’s cruel estimations of her age is forever young and lively, bar mentioning Tom. To make up  but compound his error in a unmistakeable genial way he made the assembled aware of Tom by referring to him as ‘Snappy Tom’ the former tight-fisted Treasurer who would as another former senior minister at the time said of him ‘… rather have a fight than a feed”.


The Premier, interviewed by the honourable Richard Willingham (old ‘Age’ reporter now relearning his ‘ABC’ before hopefully getting a proper job at ‘The Australian’ by use of his unbiased political coverage), disclosed his passions and pipedreams.


He was later questioned by crowd friendlies before being asked if his endgame was to end up President of the Essendon Football Club as his Federal Comrade one Hon. Lindsay Tanner had done after a career in the 1st Eleven in Canberra ending with a stint as Finance Minister. After a somewhat long-winded exploration of the possibility (including reference to the position as Chairman cf President  which the enquirer at one excruciatingly rare pause interjected “A simple yes or no will do”) eventually concluded that “no” that was not his ambition, it was a post politics hypothetical but he still had much to do in government before he turned his mind to such matters. Good luck with the future polls mon ami.


Following his generally well received monologues the Premier was presented with a bottle of Wangaratta wine grown from grapes and named for a Patrician Matriarch and doyen of that country community where he first learnt the meaning of hard work at his father’s side and his love of golf on the playing fields of Galen College. His minder, I believe, immediately noted the gift for register purposes to avoid the NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell experience!


On the field Old Scotch referred to, regrettably in hindsight, by our senior MC at lunch as the “Pells” (translate their moniker = ‘Cardinals’)(to which he added “were not expected to score a goal” so their luncheon representatives President Rob Millar and IPP Peter Warner were ineligible for nomination of a Scotch first goal in the raffle) were  simply unstoppable in the 3rd quarter. Most at the ground saw their first 17 goal quarter and torturously painful for the Fitzroy faithful was the fact 15 of those were against us.


The positives for the past five weeks have been the consistent high quality form of Nathan Ligris and Ted “LUF” Clayton. More recently we have seen the tenacity of raging bull tamer Jack Dalton and as everyone else has observed “Thank God” for the “The babe’ Nino Lazzaro a rising goal kicking sensation.


Go Roys!


By George!111


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