Home' Hunter Its People : June 2010 Contents Thursday, June 24, 2010 THE HERALD 37
A poet, critic and winner of the $25,000 Patrick White
Award in 1988, Roland Robinson was made a Freeman of
the City of Lake Macquarie in 1991.
Born in Ireland in 1912, he emigrated to Australia
with his parents when he was nine. Throughout his life
he was a station rouseabout, railway fettler, labourer,
country jockey, breaker-in and trainer of horses, dancer
with the Kirsova Ballet, conscientious objector in World
War II, ballet critic for The Sydney Morning Herald,
groundsman at the Woollahra Golf Co
book reviewer for The Newcastle Herald,
founder of the Lyre-Bird Writers and
editor of Poetry Australia.
He won the inaugural first prize in
the National Book Council Award for
Australian Literature in 1974 and
in 1982 was awarded an Emeritus
Fellowship by the Literature Board
of the Australia Council. In 1988
he was awarded the Medal of the
Order of Australia for services to
literature and in 1991 an honorary
Doctorate of Letters by the
University of Newcastle.
Robinson died in 1992 with his
funeral attended only by men, in the
EDDIE CHARLTON >>
Born at Merewether in 1929, ''Steady''
Eddie Charlton became famous as a sn
player, achieving celebrity in the era w
snooker program Pot Black dominated the
Charlton was Pot Black champion in 1972, 1973 and
1980 and although he never won a major "ranking"
tournament he was one of the most consistent and hard-
to-beat players, ranked number three in the world for
five consecutive seasons and three-times runner-up in the
world championships at both snooker and billiards. He
was Australian snooker champion for more than 20 years.
His grandfather ran a billiards club at Swansea and
thrust a cue into Charlton's hands when he was nine. He
came to the fore by beating the legendary Walter Lindrum
in a wartime snooker exhibition when he was 11, yet
worked as a coal miner until the age of 31, when, after
winning four amateur titles, he was persuaded by Fred
Davis to join the professional circuit.
Charlton died in 2004.
ALBERT (ALBY) BURGIN
Burgin was a winner of the Sydney-to-Hobart Yacht
Race and an accomplished ocean racer who was made a
Freeman of the City of Lake Macquarie in 1987.
Born in 1915, Burgin grew up in Boolaroo and became
a plumbing apprentice, launching his own business in the
Belmont area in 1944. He founded another branch in
Tamworth but retired in the 1960s to devote more time to
his ocean racing.
He competed in the Sydney-to-Hobart 31 times, winning
in 1961 on his self-built yacht Rival. Over the thousands of
races he competed in he never retired. In 1988 he sailed
around Australia to raise money to battle polio, and until
his death in 2008, he was helping disabled children enjoy
sailing at Sailability at Belmont 16 Footers.
League star Harragon played for Lakes United before
joining the Newcastle Knights in 1988 and making his
first-grade debut in 1989 against the Balmain Tigers.
He represented and captained NSW Country,
Australia and captained the
s to the 1997 ARL premiership
nst Manly, despite suffering
adaches and seizures throughout the
Harragon made 20 consecutive
State of Origin appearances for
NSW between Game I, 1992, and
Game II, 1998. Between 1992 and
1998, he was often picked for the
Kangaroos, scoring three tries for
his country. In 1996, he captained
the team in a World Cup Test
against South Africa.
He was made Freeman of the
City of Lake Macquarie in 1999, the
me year he retired due to a knee
ury after playing 169 first grade
es. Since then he has become a
personality, has been a director
ife member of the Newcastle
d a spokesman for NIB Health
Funds and Subway.
WILLIAM CURREY AND CLARENCE JEFFERIES
Two students of Dudley Public School, Clarence Jeffries
and William Currey, both born in Wallsend, have won the
Private Currey was awarded Australia's highest military
honour for ''most conspicuous bravery and daring'' on
September 1, 1918, at Peronne, France. With his battalion
under fire and taking heavy casualties from a German
77 mm field gun, Currey rushed forward into machine-
gun fire, capturing the gun single handed. When the
battalion's advance was halted on its left flank, Currey
used a Lewis gun to rush an enemy post and again
captured it single handed. The next day, he volunteered
to stand up in no-man's land and call out to a company
that had become isolated, and was gassed.
Currey returned to Australia in 1919 and was elected
to the NSW Legislative Assembly in 1941 as the Labour
Member for Kogarah, and retained his seat until his
sudden death, aged just 52, in 1948. His Victoria Cross is
at the Australian War Memorial.
Clarence Jeffries is covered in the Newcastle section of
Lake Macquarie Library also acknowledged the work
of historians Keith Clouten, author of Reid's Mistake, and
Norm Barney, who fostered the cause of local history in
the area, among their selections.
Born in 1899 at Cooks Hill, Sir William Dobell, the artist
regarded as the nation's finest portrait painter, lived at
Wangi Wangi for much of his life.
He was a three-time winner of the Archibald Prize,
recipient of a Wynne Prize as well as other awards, and his
works are valued around the world.
Dobell left school at 14 and had a number of jobs,
including ''dog walloper" outside the Hunter St store
of Winns, whacking dogs likely to urinate on displayed
merchandise. Around 1923 he moved to Sydney and in
1929 won a travelling scholarship to go to London, but
by 1939 he was back in
Sydney, broke and still
During World War II
he became an official
war artist and met Joshua
Smith, who he painted,
and the artwork aroused
great controversy when
it won the 1943 Archibald
Prize. The controversy and
resulting court case (which
he won) scarred Dobell
and, close to
fled to Wangi.
For a while he
in 1948 he was back with
his second Archibald,
a portrait of
and in 1959
his third, a
portrait of his
surgeon, Dr E.
In 1966 Dobell was
knighted, and he died of a
heart attack at his lakeside
cottage in 1970.
... ITS PEOPLE
Former Booragul High
pupil Craig Johnston
is Australia's most
player with five English
Dr Henry Leighton-
monkeys from Malaya
to his Eraring home in
the 1930s where he
attempted to restore the
virility of ageing men
with grafts of monkey
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