The Poetry of Rugby League

In Maher Cup days many punters penned poetry which ended up published in the local paper.  A sampling of these can be found here.

The following (probably unpublished) verse from 1935 is not about the Maher Cup, but is posted as it reveals much about the casual attitude to the violence of football at the time, and the camaraderie that necessitated that everyone be assigned a nickname. Continue reading

The 2016 Maher Cup Reunion 13 February

Well it’s all done and dusted and a good time was had by one and all at the Cootamundra Country Club.   At least 180 folk came to swap yarns, plus many of the visiting Temora bowlers joined in.  Below are some links to local media reports.

The Harden-Murrumburrah Twin Town Times has a video in its report featuring the chief organiser Tom Spain.

Coota men with the Cup

Coota men with the Cup – Source: Cootamundra Herald

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Minorities in Maher Cup Country

Maher Cup Country was and is a pretty culturally homogenous place, but there was always enough of a mix to make it interesting.

An hour before the first ever Maher Cup match Otto (Boydie) Beegling, the butcher’s son, and a highly respected young man from Tumut, warmed up the crowd when he took on a Adelong rival in a challenge footrace at the oval.  Eric Weissel, Bill Lesberg, Eric Kuhn, Charlie Schwartzel, Henry, Les and Tony Gelfius, Joe Steinke, Paul Butz, Len Koch and a 100 or more others with German names helped bring home the Cup to excited communities. Continue reading

Peter Castrission Remembers “The Blooda Maher Cup”

Peter Castrission has contributed the following:

I am Vic Castrission’s nephew and I live in Canberra. I am 59 and a retired public servant so I still spend a lot of time in Gundagai. I would like to give you some information about the Niagara Cafe in Gundagai and my uncles and fathers involvement in Rugby League, Group Nine and the Maher Cup. Continue reading

Greeks In Our Lives

In Maher Cup country Greek families, mostly from the small island of Kythera, contributed significantly to community life and to football.  Pictured below is Vic Castrission owner of the iconic Niagara Cafe at Gundagai, and as the president of the Gundagai Rugby League Club, the holder of the Maher Cup.

Vic Castrissian holding the Maher Cup, with local member Billy Sheahan. Source: Photo. on wall of the Niagara Cafe

Vic Castrission holding the Maher Cup, with local member Billy Sheahan. Source: Photo. on the wall of the Niagara Cafe

George Minos of West Wyalong.

George Minos of West Wyalong. Source: Wyalong & District Family History Group. Tales from the Grave.

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Herbert Howard & The Maher Cup Song

The Maher Cup inspired many stories, poems and at least one published song, The Maher Cup : March Song, written by W.H. Howard of Tumut and Junee many years ago.

Choir of the Southern Cross, Young.

Choir of the Southern Cross, Young.

The song has recently been recorded by the Choir of the Southern Cross on 10 November 2013 at the Young Town Hall. Listen to it.

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10 Reasons why the Maher Cup was such a Success

The Maher Cup was a special event. It dominated the sporting life of towns from Tumut to West Wyalong like no other. To represent your town in the Maher Cup meant you were somebody. Before the Second World War when it was played on Wednesday afternoons, shopping stopped and main streets became abandoned. It became a metaphor for a sporting event significantly more important than  others within its field. Continue reading