Bernie Seymour – One of Manly Warringah’s finest by Ken Vessey
When word was received that Bernie, aged 83 had suffered a stroke, Welfare Officers Norm Pounder and Ken Vessey wasted no time in paying him a visit at Manly Hospital. Upon their arrival they were not surprised to see ‘hard as nails’ Bernie walking around and talking to the nursing staff. We were told that he was recovering well and was due to be transferred to Mona Vale Hospital for rehab treatment for a period of time.
Bernie, in his playing days, was renowned for his tough and non-compromising brand of rugby league. As a forward with the Manly Warringah Rugby League District Football Club from 1954- 1963, he was the first player to pass the 200th grade game mark playing alongside the likes of Ron Willey, Roy Bull, Rex Mossop, George Hunter, Doug Daley and George Lenon to name a few.
After retiring from playing, he commenced an association with the Manly Warringah Club which saw he actively involved in various Club roles including Club Selector, Committee and Board Member up until recent years and proudly boasts that he never misses a Sea Eagle’s home game at ‘Fortress’ Brookvale Oval. He was also instrumental years ago in forming and running the ‘Bernie’s Boilers’ touch football competition at Narrabeen, where he played up until recent years and it is still being played today.
He is well supported and cared for by his two daughters Michele and Joanne and son Scott plus their families. Bernie was pleased and proud to tell us that his grandson Bryce Roche (plays in the hooker position) had just been signed as a member of the Sea Eagles Under 20 years Holden Cup squad. We suggested to Bernie that with all his years of packing down in some rugged and fiercely played scrums, he would be able to give Bryce some hints on scrummaging, even though the game has changed dramatically.
Bernie typifies the past golden era of players who gave their all in every game and for their Club. We wished Bernie a speedy recovery to good health and presented him with a Men of League polo shirt for which he was delighted and thanked us for our visit.
Photo – left to right – Bryce Roche, Michele Roche and Bernie Seymour