Who are our Almanac members: the story of Rev Dr Roger Ackland.

Roger Ackland

I met the Rev Dr Roger Ackland on the terrace at Princes Park during a VFL Grand Final which Geelong won – perhaps the one where Tom Lonergan kicked 12 goals in a quarter from centre half back.

It was a Sunday afternoon. I didn’t know the gent standing next to me, but given we were within about a six iron of the Varsity, and he was wearing a tweed jacket with leather elbow patches, I assumed he was taking in a little footer in preparation for Evensong at Trinity. We got talking and nothing in the exchange had cause for me to challenge my view that he was a learned rector and don.

Turns out it was actually Roger Ackland, whose company I have enjoyed numerous times since, often with the steadier of Jim Fidge. Roger is an Almanac member [Jack Dyer Good Ordinary Member] these days. And Jim Fidge should be. As we all should. Join now.

Roger may not be a cleric or a doctor of philosophy, but are they Volleys he is wearing?

And what street is that?

And did Jim Fidge really pass him the torch?

And where can I get one of those convertibles? [What is it?]

About John Harms

JTH is a writer, publisher, speaker, historian. He is publisher and contributing editor of The Footy Almanac and footyalmanac.com.au. He has written columns and features for numerous publications. His books include Confessions of a Thirteenth Man, Memoirs of a Mug Punter, Loose Men Everywhere, Play On, The Pearl: Steve Renouf's Story and Life As I Know It (with Michelle Payne). He appears (appeared?) on ABCTV's Offsiders. He can be contacted [email protected] He is married to The Handicapper and has three school-age kids - Theo, Anna, Evie. He might not be the worst putter in the world but he's in the worst four. His ambition was to lunch for Australia but it clashed with his other ambition - to shoot his age.


  1. Looks like old Bell Street, Preston to me – or maybe Coburg.

  2. Great photo. If it’s in Geelong I reckon Roger might be running west along Ryrie or Malop St, just a bit to the east of town. Mum and I used to walk along that way down from Eastern Park and it looks vaguely familiar (from 60 odd years ago of course). Might be somewhere else entirely.

    Love the convertible. Maybe a Riley? Looks like a big old Ford or Humber in front and an FJ Holden behind.

    Cheers, Burkie

  3. Roger Ackland says

    They are indeed Dunlop Volleys JTH. My mile was along Melbourne Rd (Princes Hwy) in vicinity of North Geelong station. Can’t recall who handed me the torch but it was not James Fidge!

  4. Skip of Skipton says

    That double triangular facade building with the butcher shop is the corner of Margaret St. and Melbourne Rd, North Geelong (or ‘Rippleside’, if it is a tosser or real estate agent you are talking to).

    An un-built overpass (where the truck is) takes future Pivotonians to the Arena for Supercats NBL games and Midnight Oil concerts (1985, loud and even better than I expected).

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