Graham Macbeth – the man from Coolah NSW
Upon receiving word from Stephen Macbeth (Men of League Member #12,326) that his cousin Graham had been at the Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney for a long period and suggested a visit would certainly lift his spirits, Northern Sydney Men of League Wellbeing Officers Gregory Grace and Ken Vessey wasted no time in paying Graham a visit.
L-R: Gregory Grace,Graham Macbeth and Ken Vessey
Graham told us he hailed from the township Coolah in Central Western NSW. He told us that he had been in the hospital for five months, following his second kidney transplant and was still there whilst some post-operative issues were being resolved in lieu of travelling back and forth from Coolah.
He had his first kidney transplant in 1975 and due to kidney problems, his rugby league playing days at school were cut short. He had lived in Coolah for most of his life and had recently retired from working at the local council. He has a very supportive family comprising of wife Leonie (married since 1969), three sons, four daughters and five grandchildren.
Naturally, he was keen to return to Coolah and his home but he never expressed any dissatisfaction concerning his lengthy stay at the hospital as the medical staff were wonderfully attentive and Graham was full of praise for the care and attention he was being given.
We learnt that he was a very keen supporter of the old St George Rugby League Club (prior to 1999 formation of the St George Illawarra Dragons Rugby League Club) in the period when the famous club won 11 straight Premiership titles with such marvellous players like Norm Provan, Reg Gasnier, John Raper, John King and Graeme Langlands. We could of stayed for hours chatting with Graham about those past great games of rugby league at the Sydney Cricket Ground on a Saturday afternoon for the “Match of the Day”.
We wished Graham a speedy recovery and return to Coolah. We presented him with a Men of League polo shirt and cap. In return, he was most appreciative and thanked us for paying him a visit.
By Ken Vessey
Northern Sydney Men of League Committee