Graham “Sandy” Houston – Nearly 92 Years Young and Still Going Strong
It had been a time since we had paid a wellbeing visit to see Sandy and this was rectified recently when Wayne Springall (Sandy’s nephew), Fred Jackson and Ken Vessey from the Northern Sydney Committee called in to see him at a Bayview Nursing Home, he had recently moved into. Sadly Sandy’s wife Margaret had passed away on the 18 July 2019 and he is coping well considering all things. He has strong family support with daughter Leanne, son Todd and other Family members.
With a big smile on his face he told us “he was born on the 24 November 1927, his birthday was on next Sunday and to bring on the 90’s years to come”.
Sandy has been a keen supporter of the Men of League Foundation for many years having Ordinary Member 737 and Gold Member 18 numbers and he was full of praise for the activities of the Foundation. He grew up and played in the Manly Warringah junior rugby league before being playing with the Manly Warringah District RLF Club from 1949-1952 as a Hooker for a total of 48 matches in reserve/third grade. Naturally, I asked him “as a Hooker, you must have been sent from the field a few times” and without any facial expression change he replied, “ innocently only once, up the Domain”. However, he had a big grin when he stated: “ he never hit anyone for fear they might whack him back”.
He proudly told us he worked at the then Dept of Motor Transport for 48 years,2 weeks and 2 days and enjoyed every day. In those days the Dept had a very strong rugby league team playing in the lunchtime Sydney Domain competition and he played with talented players like Ken McCaffery ( Australian representative, Qld, Eastern Suburbs, North Sydney ), Ray Gartner (Canterbury Bankstown), Les Brennan ( Souths Sydney), Bernie Cuneo ( North Sydney, Manly Warringah ) and Kevin Doyle (Eastern Suburbs).
Sandy is a former Director plus a Foundation and Life Member of both the Manly Warringah District RLF Club and the Manly Warringah League Club — a marvellous achievement in a life time. He is the greatest supporter of the Sea Eagles and he has high hopes for season 2020 . We presented him with a Men of League polo in recognition of his long-time contribution of our game and he was moved in his thanking us for the visit and our gift.
His parting words were “many thanks for coming to see me and it’s so nice to know people have not forgotten me”.
by Ken Vessey. Wellbeing Coordinator Northern Sydney Committee