A meeting over refreshments sews seed for rugby league club

READY TO GO: Keen to kick off the new footy season at the Wattles Player Muster last Sunday were Harry Fulwood, Wade Austin, Tim Sharpe, Jack Knight and Will O'Gradey.
READY TO GO: Keen to kick off the new footy season at the Wattles Player Muster last Sunday were Harry Fulwood, Wade Austin, Tim Sharpe, Jack Knight and Will O'Gradey.

WHILE Central Downs-based rugby league club the Wattles Warriors have launched their 2018 season campaign within the Toowoomba Rugby League recently, the club will be recognising their region's sporting history this year with an event to celebrate a century of rugby league.

While the Wattles club was formed 53 years ago when the Allora and Clifton Rugby League clubs combined, rugby league had been the rural area's winter sport of choice since the later 1910s.

Rugby union had been played in the Allora area from the late 1800s, however a meeting hosted at Allora's Andronico's refreshment rooms comprising a little over 30 interested folk in May 1918 resulted in the formation of a rugby league club, the Allora Junior Boomerang Club.

The Allora Rugby League Club formed on May 8, 1918 and existed until February 18, 1966 before combining with the Clifton Rugby League Club to form the Allora-Clifton Rugby League Club adopting the name of Wattles in 1969.

While the Wattles club will celebrate the centenary of rugby league in the Allora area in May, the club is also looking to uncover information on the formation of the Clifton Rugby League Club.

Mr. G. H. Fisk chaired the gathering that formed the Allora Club with the first president Mr J. O'Callaghan; vice presidents J.C. Stewart, S. Summers, N. Andronicos, J. Powell, M. O'Connor, Rev. J. Elliott, C.J. Gorry, G. Ellis, A. Hamilton, C.W. Clark, F. Grayson and G.C. Clark; secretary and treasurer M G. Hall; captain Mr V. Laws; vice captain Mr S. Anderson; committee V. Laws, S. Anderson, J. Phelan, C. McMillan and C. Ellis.

It was decided that the club would join the Warwick Rugby League Union, and the club's initial fundraiser was a dance held a fortnight after the formation meeting.

The following Allora Boomerang team was selected to take on a Warwick club. However that game did not eventuate.

Allora then met the Clifton Pioneers at Allora winning 15-0 in their first match in what is considered the first recorded game of the 13-a-side rugby league code in the Central Downs area.

The Allora team selected was: Fullback F. Smith; threequarters S. Anderson, C. Ellis, J. Phelan, M. Phelan; five eight V. Laws (Capt); halfback G. Hall; forwards R. Sharpe, K. Phelan, W. Anderson, W. Smith, O. Walker with emergencies J. McMillan, G. Ellis while T. Buckley and G. Christianson were added to the side before the first match.

T. Buckley scored the Allora Club's first try and V. Laws kicked the first goal.

Buckley scored two tries in the result, G. Christianson one try and goals by Laws and G. Hall.

Further details regarding the gala 100 Years of Rugby League in Allora reunion will be released in the near future.

Organisers are particularly keen to make contact with family of the members of the initial Allora Club committee members.

If you can assist in this regard or have further inquiries please phone Glyn Rees on 0400811093.

Topics:  allora community allora junior boomerang club rugby league sport

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