WHEN you talk about the personalities in Kiama sport, the name Arthur Hall inevitably comes up.
Next weekend 96 year-old Mr Hall will be honoured as Kiama Knights oldest living player at their reunion at the Kiama Leagues Club and the former star cricketer and well known butcher still recalls a lot of his career which spanned 20 seasons and around 300 games.
“I started playing as a 15 year-old and because there were no juniors in those days, played reserves until I made first grade and actually only missed one game in my career,” Mr Hall said.
“I was lucky enough to play in a wonderful era of Kiama football, playing in the same side as players like Frank King, Fred and Artie Pepper, Jack Creighton, Harold ‘Googs’ Tuohy, Ernie Richardson, Harold George and Sammy Thicknesse and a man I consider ‘natures gentleman’, Stan Weir.
“We still hold the Group record for the most successive first grade titles of four from 1945-48, missed out in 1949 when Albion Park scored a try after the bell, but after my retirement the side won again in 1950 so it could easily have been six-in-a-row.
“I also had the honour of playing around 23 games of representative football with Berry’s Gus Miller – Gus was and still is a great character and was as tough as teak.”
He still recalls several funny moments during his career.
“Like when coach Bill Pearce ordered players to take a dose of Epsom salts during the week, but Douggie James forgot and took it on the Saturday morning – the result was a bit of a disaster when the pressure went on in the first scrum.
“Also, the Campbell brothers lived at Bombo and used to walk to Kiama along the railway line, but one day they were almost to the tunnel near Bombo beach and the train came through the tunnel in the opposite direction.
“In those days people used to dress up and get changed at the ground and when they saw the train they took off in the opposite direction and had to jump clear, straight into the Bombo lagoon – suits and all - they took the road from then on,” he laughed.