Rac­ing stal­wart hon­oured

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Per­era

A former pres­i­dent and life mem­ber of the Nor West Jockey Club has been hon­oured for long-term ser­vice by the Coun­try Rac­ing As­so­ci­a­tion of WA.

Dar­ryl Rooney was made a life mem­ber of the CRA, a rare honour which has only had a hand­ful of other re­cip­i­ents in its his­tory, at an awards din­ner in Perth early this month.

He has been part of the as­so­ci­a­tion since its es­tab­lish­ment in 1988.

Mr Rooney, who was born in Onslow and lived and worked in the North West for most of his life, be­came in­volved in rac­ing when sta­tion man­ager Doug Stove handed him the role of Nor West Jockey Club time­keeper at short no­tice upon his de­par­ture for Perth in 1974.

He said his in­volve­ment had grown from there; he be­came the club vi­cepres­i­dent and pres­i­dent for a com­bined eight years, in­stalled new in­fra­struc­ture around the course and shaped changes that con­tinue there to­day, such as scal­ing back the num­ber of race meets from six to four a year for bud­get rea­sons.

“It was a hobby that I’d picked up and I just ran with it,” he said.

“Our fam­ily was par­tially in­volved in rac­ing, and be­ing in the North West we knew a lot of the sta­tion peo­ple who were in­volved in the rac­ing in­dus­try be­fore it be­came a (more pro­fes­sion­alised) part of the in­dus­try.”

Mr Rooney has con­tin­ued to rep­re­sent the Nor West Jockey Club at CRA meet­ings since mov­ing to Ger­ald­ton and said the as­so­ci­a­tion life mem­ber­ship award had come as a com­plete sur­prise.

“I was hon­oured with life mem­ber­ship of the Nor West Jockey Club (in 1994), so I now have two life mem­ber­ships of coun­try rac­ing,” he said.

“We’re of the be­lief if you live some­where, you’ve got to make it your home and make it what peo­ple re­ally want.”

“Peo­ple are re­quired to keep this in­dus­try alive.”

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