A cham­pion all round

Myrtleford Times - - News -

CHAM­PION: Myrtleford for­mer star foot­baller and sports­man Pat Quirk.

MYRTLEFORD fam­ily man and for­mer star foot­baller Pat Quirk has been re­mem­bered by his fam­ily and friends.

Pat was born in Co­bram on Oc­to­ber 7, 1943 – the first child of Hugh and Lima Quirk of Ba­rooga, on the New South Wales side of the Mur­ray River.

His sis­ters were Mar­garet, Lor­raine, Ju­dith and Alice and brothers Kevin, Peter and Noel.

Pat went to Ba­rooga Pri­mary School un­til year four and then to St Joseph’s in Co­bram but went to work when he was 14, shear­ing up to 180 sheep a day with his father in sheds around Mans­field, west­ern Vic­to­ria, Rive­rina and Tas­ma­nia.

Other sea­sonal jobs in­cluded hay-cart­ing, split­ting and cut­ting red gum posts and pick­ing fruit.

Pat was 13 when he ran the bound­ary for Ba­rooga Foot­ball Club and played his first se­nior foot­ball game when he was 15.

He was lucky to play along­side his father and later tied for the Pi­cola and Dis­trict Foot­ball League best and fairest award but lost on a count­back.

In 2002 – 40 years later – he was awarded a league best and fairest medal.

Pat also loved cricket and at 13 was Ba­rooga’s open­ing bowler.

He rep­re­sented Mur­ray Val­ley Dis­trict League at Coun­try Week and his best was 6/28.

Pat was re­cruited by South Mel­bourne Foot­ball Club – which later be­came the Sydney Swans – and played with the club for a year be­fore re­turn­ing to Co­bram.

He also played in a bas­ket­ball grand fi­nal in 1963 and in 1964 moved to Myrtleford, play­ing 162 games with the Saints foot­ball club, in­clud­ing the 1970 premier­ship side and be­ing named best player.

He was a life mem­ber of the Saints and on the com­mit­tee. He helped with the bar and gate and joined the Buf­falo Sol­diers.

He was named Whorouly club’s best and fairest in 1973.

He also played golf – scor­ing an al­ba­tross in 1994 and a hole in one in 1996.

Pat started his adult work­ing life as a fork lift driver at the old Myrtleford mill and then as a front-end loader driver for Jack Mathe­son.

When the North East tim­ber haulage firm known as Green­freight started he worked in the forestry depart­ment and ran Green­freight’s side of ANM in Albury be­fore tak­ing on the same role at Be­nalla mill.

In 1986 he started work at Myrtleford mill un­til re­tire­ment in 2001 be­cause of Weg­ner’s gran­u­lo­mato­sis.

Pat mar­ried Mary Toner in 1966 and the cou­ple had three daugh­ters: Donna, Ja­nine and Narelle.

He later be­came the proud and lov­ing Pa of Jack, Tim, Emma, Sally, Chloe, Mitchell and Tara.

His part­ner­ship with Mary had lasted 51 years when he died on July 29, this year.

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