We are assembled today to commemorate in a fitting and practical manner, the magnificent services rendered to the club by a past and very worthy member.
The late Mr. Elliott was one of the original debenture holders whose contributions made possible the establishment of this club far back in the year 1923.
He did not however take any active interest in the club until he commenced to play bowls at the beginning of the 1937 season.
He immediately proved himself a tower of strength and it was evident that he was destined to play an important role in the club for in the same year he was made a Vice-President and in 1936 succeeded Mr. Roughton who, unfortunately, died recently, in the important duties of Gen. President. This position he continued to fill with marked distinction until his sudden and unfortunate death in Queensland just over two years ago.
During his long period of service the club received his close and constant care. He piloted its destiny through the adverse vicissitudes of depression and war, drought and flood, and the aftermath of the disastrous fire in 1950 which destroyed the clubhouse. But no trial however severe could daunt his unconquerable spirit and unflagging energy.
By his earnestness, enthusiasm and devoted service, the club overcame each difficulty in turn until it reached the sound of footing on which it now stands and has now developed into one of the largest of its kind in the State – catering for some 850 members of all ages, and incidentally is an ornament to the district.
His noted characteristics were a generosity and a kindliness of heart which were manifested in numerous ways. As one who enjoyed and treasured a close friendship with our late friend over a period of 21 years, 18 years of which we were in office together – I can assure you that not only did he give of his best for the development of the club, but ever uppermost and nearest to his magnanimous heart was the welfare of each individual member. No one was too young or too old to receive his attention when ill or in need. The innumerable benefactions and kindnesses which were bestowed on members are known only to the recipients themselves for he was a man who truly practiced the injunction to keep his left hand unaware of the benefactions emanating from his right hand.
I could conceive of no better form of memorial than these gates. I join with all members in expressing our warm thanks to the members of the Gen. Committee and particularly to those who were actively engaged on their design and erection. Their beauty and quiet dignity are indeed emblematical of, and truly interpret the sterling strength, and uprightness of character of the worthy members to whose memory they are dedicated.
This is not the time to speak of his bowling prowess except perhaps to say that he was received and accepted not only in nature’s gentlemen and a true sportsman. Even far away at Mooloolaba, 100 miles north of Brisbane there has been erected a memorial expressing the esteem of the bowling fraternity in that area.
On the occasion of the 21st Anniversary of the club in 1944, members expressed their appreciation of his services by conferring upon him an Hon. Life Membership and also presenting him with an illuminated address in which was incorporated this small verse which always appealed to him:
“May long you play on level sword,
May still this prize be your reward,
To know that men acclaim your name,
Through ups and downs – one up each game”
(It so happened that at that time his aggregate bowling results were the equivalent to a win for each game by one point.) This typically expressed his character for to whatever worthy task he set his hand he would not let up until he had obtained his objective if only by a slender margin.
I feel that if his voice were audible he would repeat that verse to us today and in addition invite all who are privileged to enter by these gates to find within the club the fulfillment of their quest for joy and happiness. For there were the motives which actuated his labors and these he diligently pursued even to the point of sacrifice.
Of him i can truly be said he lived respected and died regretted and we club members have done well to commemorate in this manner his splendid and commendable efforts and services to willingly and unselfishly given for our benefit, and for futurity.