I have been thinking of putting pen to paper for some time.
But other things just get in the way.
Perhaps they are deemed to be more important or perhaps I have just been a bit lazy.
We all look for things to do sometimes other than what we should be doing.
See, there I go digressing already rather than sticking to the task at hand.
A little background is needed I guess.
I found out you have been involved with greyhounds since you were 16 years old.
Hell. That makes it a damn long time.
Surely you weren’t wearing the same jumper and trousers then that you wear to nearly every greyhound meeting now.
You know the jumper.
Little zip at the neck, army green colour.
And the trousers which although brown in colour clearly display you are often on your knees fixing, repairing or just plain getting up from those awkward positions.
Age does catch up to all of us.
An Adelaide boy for a fair stint allowed you to become family entrenched in the greyhound game.
I believe you trained dogs and visited many of the old tracks around the state.
These probably included Barmera, Port Augusta and I do know you brought dogs to Mount Gambier at the old track.
Gee, there are some memories there.
What about the old Waterloo corner establishment.
Wasn’t that something to be part of.
Pity they are just memories now.
You are a talented man David.
Although some people would be glad to set up a debating stage for that comment.
I have opened up your backpack that mysteriously follows you around and discovered a few things.
Involvement in greyhound racing brought you many successes with dogs such as Red Region and Dreaming Ruth.
Ah yes! Dreaming Ruth, the greyhound that won the 1966 Adelaide Cup.
Wow, that must be still very clear in your mind.
What a wonderful achievement.
The name is interesting.
You are married to a champion lady, Ruth.
Any connection or was the dog as lucky to have a good trainer as you are to have a most caring, thoughtful, hardworking wife.
See, there I go again.
But this letter could not be complete without a sincere thank you to Ruth for all the time and energy she puts in as secretary of the Mount Gambier greyhound club.
You are a very lucky man, pity you don’t show it a bit more often.
Where was I.
Oh yes – rambling.
A move to Naracoorte allowed you to continue to train and breed pups.
You also took responsibility for completing the SA trainer book and race programs.
See. Your hidden talents started to blossom.
Now is where the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club becomes extremely fortunate.
A move to Mount Gambier allows for heavy involvement in the local greyhound club.
I’m not sure the load you carry, and shared by Ruth, is what you were planning, were wanting or were expecting.
To you (and Ruth) thank you.
The hours of service that you commit to this club every week is quite amazing.
Whether it be visual and obvious or like a well watered creeper just quietly moving in the background, I thought it was well overdue that on behalf of all persons connected with the MGGRC, a public acknowledgement.
I’m sure medals are not needed, but David, you are a gem.
Now living in Mount Gambier you have been involved directly and indirectly with committee decisions for several years.
In fact I believe you have been on the committee for about six years and currently hold the Vice President position.
I’m not sure whether that is Vice President on the rise or fall but we all know that your input is gratefully received.
I have sat back from a far and noticed your ability to recommend changes and absorb disappointment, and then bounce back with care and thought that allows the needs of the club to progress.
Even when the light at the end of the tunnel shines bright, and you realise it is simply others with a torch bringing you more work.
You continue to immerse in activities oh so necessary for this club to function effectively.
Thank you for the time you spend on the sub-committee who meet and produce the monthly racing program for Mount Gambier.
A challenge in itself to get the local calendar correct with heats, finals, border challenges, memorials and of course the Gold Cup.
People would be amazed at the time spent organising, arranging and rearranging programs for generally two days racing each week, every week.
Thank you David for your organisation of trophies and rugs, for those many special races.
Certainly the Gold Cup takes centre stage, but most of us take for granted that rugs and trophies will appear and don’t consider who has been responsible for ensuring their correctness.
Of course you have that trusty sidekick to help, but on behalf of all, thank you.
I’m not sure you actually get time to be a trainer these days, although apart from offering advice to that bloke Richie, perhaps the hours of training are declining.
I hope not.
Many people like to beat Dave Lewis on the race track – just for bragging rights.
You must have pretty good typing skills Dave.
I sit in my tangled web on most Thursdays and Sundays and watch you slide up to the last winner or a new face.
You make what appears to be a collection of dots and dashes on the race form and then “kapow”.
It’s like genie shot from his lamp and Walt Disney armoured you with a helper to decipher that page of ants into a very readable piece of prose.
Thank you for your unbiased journalism, time, commitment and belief that most news is good news.
I’m a little bit camera shy David.
But some like it lots more than others.
Not to a narcissistic level but keen to be in print.
You would see that as you readily volunteer for yet another task, taking on the roll of camera man.
It is a bit like the life of a cephalopod using every tentacle he has to do the task required – some obvious to all and many that most are unaware of.
Question for you David.
How many legs does an octopus have? No! Not 8, but 2, the others are arms.
I think that’s why you are so vital to the MGGRC.
Your arms reach out in many different directions completing many tasks.
Camera work, replacing Todd and Bronwyn who do a great service to the club, goes unheralded and from my corner position seems to be done in a seamless style.
Your tasks and involvement is not complete there.
A piece of paper flew past me a while back headed “Man from the Mount”.
Must be this mysterious person who produces tips for GRSA.
Having heard some of your tips and compared them to the results of the day, I must say you go okay for an old bloke.
Still more of your own time and thought.
I assume all of this is voluntary and like other activities gets done with little fuss.
There is a nice museum in the corner of the clubrooms.
Some wonderful memorabilia of past events, people, dogs and equipment.
I did ask a few people and surprise, surprise.
All commented that you were heavily involved in getting that disused corner into a wonderful area, thank you to all the helpers certainly, but again a big thank you for your relentless energy and direction to see a wonderful venture completed.
Oh yes! Tipping.
I have witnessed a little bit going on recently.
Something that has developed from a couple of greyhound tragics having side bets to now a whole mass having a tipping competition and raising money for various charities.
When nobody else is looking, I quietly get closer to realise that again it is Ruth and yourself who keep record of these tips, update on website, help recruit new players, collect money, contact local charities and prepare for finals race days.
All voluntary and all done because you understand the need to help those less fortunate.
Hearts of gold.
Don’t let all these compliments go too high David.
The MGGRC is expecting, demanding and needing your wonderful assistance for a bit longer yet.
As a group we ask that you find your favourite chair, grab a cuppa and piece of cake and sit down for a while, it is time to reflect on the outstanding contribution you continually make to this club.
We, as recipients of your work, effort and commitment, say thank you.