Fred ‘Facetrader’ Jackson gets his own wellbeing visit at last

Anyone who knows Fred Jackson knows he is a very determined character who won’t be distracted from achieving his objectives. Fellow Northern Sydney Men of League Foundation Wellbeing Officers Norm Pounder and Ken Vessey have believed that for many years and knew that Fred really wanted his own wellbeing visit but had never declared that desire.

Well, that all changed recently when Fred and his wife Julie, where on an enjoyable cruise from Japan back to Sydney and a few days out of Singapore heading to Darwin, Fred fell seriously ill and was placed in the ship’s hospital. Upon arrival in Darwin, he was admitted to the Darwin Hospital accompanied by Julie where he remained for a week, before being airlifted to Sydney, admitted into Royal North Shore Private Hospital and within 24 hours underwent surgery for the removal of a hiatus hernia.

The good news is that the operation went well and Fred, at the time of writing this report, was going home the next day.

A few days after his operation, Norm and Ken paid their wellbeing colleague Fred a visit and greeted him with a huge roast regarding the extreme steps he had gone to and through to get his own wellbeing visit. Fred, having seen better days at that stage, still saw the humour and wanted to know if our visit included a photo too. Fred is well known as a valued Men of League Foundation Member, Wellbeing Officer and Committee Member of the Northern Sydney Men of League Foundation Committee.

Fred commenced playing professional rugby league, as a rugged fast front rower, straight from Marcellin College High School, Randwick, being graded with the South Sydney DRL Football Club in the early 1960s, where he played in all grades including three games of first grade in 1963 before transferring to the Eastern Suburbs DRL Football Club and playing in their lower grades successfully before retiring to concentrate on his professional career. Upon retiring from the game for many years, he was a masseur for the rugby league first-grade referees’ at Brookvale and North Sydney Ovals plus the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Today, he regularly attends functions of the Men of League Foundation, past players functions for Eastern Suburbs and South Sydney DRL Clubs and volunteers at the NRL Heroes & Legends Rugby League Museum, NRL Central with other Men of League Foundation volunteers. Fred has come through a serious medical experience but it is wonderful that he is now on the road to recovery and we, along with his colleagues and friends wish him a speedy recovery and continued good health.

by Ken Vessey
Northern Sydney Committee Wellbeing Coordinator

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