By Dr Rodney Gillett
The Reid family connections run deep at the Temora footy club with direct links to the 1959-1960 and 2012-2014 premierships that have nourished the club and its supporters between flags.
In 1960 Mal “Nugget” Reid led Temora to a grand final victory over Marrar in the Central Riverina Australian National League at Bolton Park, Wagga, 9-6 (60) to 4-3 (27).
It was Temora’s second premiership in a row; the green and golds also beat Marrar in 1959 when “Nugget” coached from the sidelines while playing for Coolamon in the neighbouring major league, the South West DFL.
Mal and his twin brother “Jacko” were members of former South Melbourne captain Ian “The Heap” Gillett’s Coolamon’s premiership team that defeated Leeton before a record crowd for Australian football in the Riverina at the Narrandera Sportsground of 12,000.
A key member of the 1960 premiership team was Bayden “Ben” Krause, now aged 85 who had only started playing football a few years before but had a break-out year booting 80-odd goals and being awarded the CRL Player of the Year.
“We went through the season undefeated. We were all so super-fit, we worked hard on farms and we were well led by Nugget”, “Ben” told me in an interview for this article.
“We were very close, all good mates, we nearly all worked on farms or were shearers or timber-cutters, the only player who wasn’t worked at a bank in town” Ben said. “I remember working with eight team-mates in our shearing shed” added Ben.
The other place the Temora footballers congregated at was church as so many of the team were Lutheran. The Hartwigs, Noel and Ron, Frank Terlich, Brian Wehrsedt, and Alan, Brian and Barry Block as well as the Krauses, Ben and younger brother Wayne (aka “Mousie” (record games holder) went to the Lutheran church at Trungley Hall, 20 kms north of the town.
The Lutherans mainly from South Australia came to take up land after the pastoral runs were opened up for settlement in the early part of the 20th century.
The first football club was first formed in Temora in 1893 (Sydney Mail and NSW Advertiser 13 May 1893), but the club has not always been in continuous existence.
In fact, Temora has been a battleground since rugby league was introduced in 1912 by a school-teacher according to the history book, Temora: Yesterday and Today, 1880-1980.
This accords with the thesis that it was the “3 Cs – the chalkies, the coppers, and the civil servants” introduced the game to the major towns in the Riverina.
But the small towns and villages held onto the football that their descendants had bought with them from the southern areas of Australia when closer settlement of the land was undertaken.
What emerged in the research for this article was the separation of town and district – with historically, the farmers, farm hands, and shearers played the indigenous game, and the “townies” played the rugby codes depending on their social background.
For most of the pre-WWII period Temora played against district clubs such as Tara, Pucawn, Mimosa, Springdale, Bectric, Rannock and Winchendon Vale (Ariah Park News (31/5/1923). However, research by Peter Clark (the author of the forthcoming book on the History of the Rannock FC) shows that for part of the 1930s there was a Temora and district league but no Temora club!
This is supported by Temora footy legend Phil “Hawk” Reid, who told me in an interview over the phone in the paddock in the rain delirious with joy that the crop was off, that his grandfather Malcolm Reid snr, known as “Mike” captained Mimosa in the Temora competition.
Another former Temora captain-coach Garry Richardson, son of 1959-60 premiership hero Jim Richardson, who coached in 1983 recalled that most of the players came from farms.
After the war, the Temora footy club resumed in the local district league, then transferred to the Ariah Park & District FL, but when that was disbanded the club went into recess from 1952-54.
It was Mike Reid and Jim Richardson among others that revived the club. Jim had gone to Temora to work as a guard at the RAAF base towards the end of the war and stayed on to become a shearer and was joined by his brother Peter, the full forward in the 1960 premiership team.
Temora entered the Wagga and District League and found immediate success by beating Junee by 3 points in the 1955 grand final, but two players who had played all season were deemed ineligible and the club refused a replay. The club made amends by sweeping to victory in 1956.
Both Marrar and Temora joined the Central Riverina league in 1957 when the Farrer league was formed taking in Wagga Tigers, North Wagga, Mangoplah and The Rock in a major shake-up to local competitions. New club Cootamundra and Junee joined the CRL (Central Riverina Football League) in 1960.
Buoyed by success in 1959-60 Temora joined the Farrer league in 1961 and had almost immediate success but were runner-up in 1963 and 1964 losing to Culcairn and Holbrook respectively.
It was when Temora entered the Farrer league that the club changed to blue and white vertical stripes to avoid a clash with Holbrook.
But premierships eluded Temora until 2012, in between Phil “Hawk” Reid, who won ten club best and fairest awards, played in seven losing preliminary finals. Phil also played in a losing grand final team whilst assistant coach at Ariah Park Mirrool in 1985.
However, his sons, Adam (2012-13), Daniel (2013), and Jason (2013-14) were prominent players in Temora’s historic hat-trick of premierships that finally broke the drought.
Adam’s son, 8 year old son Max, is set to continue the Reid tradition at Temora having started Auskick while Daniel’s twin babies, Felix and Teddy, have maternal grandfather Richard Colless planning for them to play in red and white.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Gary and Robyn Tagliabue, Peter Clarke, Garry Richardson, Bayden Krause, and Phil Reid