Ken Locke and myself had the privilege of visiting the HEADQUARTERS of West’s Archives on Monday the 25th of January 2010 .
Ben Fisher met us at the door and showed us around this fantastic set-up.
The first room we visited has every Rugby League programme from 1908 till today.
I of course went straight to the Kelly’s Kids era
As Ken and I were shown from room to room it gave as a better understand of what Ben and his crew are doing.
We were able to walk around the Archives at our leisure only stopping to have morning tea with a group of true West’s people.
left to right
Bob Dickinson, Ben Fisher, Ken Locke, Alma McWhinnie, Jennifer Roberts and James McWhinnie.
Whenever West’s people get together a good story is always close at hand.
Both Alma and Jennifer’s dads played for West’s.
Alma’s dad was Frank “Skinny” McMillan (201) he played between 1921 – 1935 playing in 161 first grade games and scored 273 points along the way.
Frank as captain of 1933-34 Kangroos(middle of 3rd Row)
Thats Frank many years later COACH of the 1966 "G" Grade Wenty side.
(Frank is 3rd from the left back row) once a Magpie always a Magpie.
Jennifer’s dad was Cecil “Johnno” Rhodes (247) he played between 1927 – 1933 playing in 66 first grade games and scored 36 points all tries.
Heres the good bit….both dads played in West’s first Premiership winning team.
The year was 1930. West’s beat St George 27-2 (the story is getting better all the time). Johnno scored a try.
So here I am some 80 years later sitting in the lunchroom of West’s Archives at Ashfield.
Not far from Pratten Park talking to the daughters of two great West’s men….
Bob Dickinson has the job of sorting out all of the old photos.
He is quite the Sherlock Holmes
Roberts desk full of questions.
Bob helping out at the 2009 Pratten Park reunion. Just 4 of the many Rugby League Year Books
One member of the Wests family that is sorely missed is the late
John Cochrane I liked John very much...when I rang the archives he would always be only to happy to help me find some information about a Wests player from the past. John was a real character.A true Wests man. VALE John Ernest Cochrane
Thanks to the great book "Clouds of Dust, Buckets of Blood"The photo below shows Ray far left and a very young John far right.Some of the players in the middle were pretty good also.m
The pictures below show some of the Wests memorabilia that has been donated from Wests people like us, so it can be cared for and admired for generations to come. So if you have some Old Wests stuff ring Ben NOW
Two great West men Ray Bernasconi and Craig Woodley
Left to Right Ron "Red Dog" Watson, Laurie Bruyeres, Jimmy Sharman and standing Bill Keato
To Ben and his team from all of us at Noel Kellys Kids thanks for your support over the years and may it continue for a long time to come. One last photo....This painting hangs in the lobby of Wests Ashfield.
THE WESTS TEAM OF THE CENTURY
Fullback - Frank McMillan
Wingers - Peter Dimond, Alan Ridley
Centres - Harry Wells, Cliff Pearce
Five Eight - Vic Hey
Halfback - Keith Holman
Lock - Les Boyd
2nd Row - Kel O'Shea, Arthur Clues
Front Row - John Donnelly, Ed "Tedda" Courtney
Hooker - Noel Kelly (Captain)
Reserves - Tom Raudonikis, John Dorahy, Neville Charlton, Bill Carson
Coach - Roy Masters.
Noel Kellys Kids, a website by Tony Lewis, Greg Willis and Steve Lothian honouring Rugby League Legend Noel Kelly and the Western Suburbs Magpies from 1966 to 1969. Noel Kelly,Captain Coach of the Western Suburbs Rugby League Club. The site involves statistics, photos, with interviews from West greats.