John Walsh – Another Wonderful Catch Up With A Courageous Man
I believe all Wellbeing Officers will agree that we all experience varied benefits / feelings when engaged on any wellbeing activities with members of the rugby league community , experiencing difficult times. However, high on my list of rewards from any wellbeing visit are the long term friendships that we form and the respect for our recipients.
Recently Warren Thompson ( Sydney Metro) and I ( Northern Sydney) were fortunate to renew our friendship with John Walsh from Darwin , whilst he was back in Sydney for some medical appointments. We had originally met John and his charming wife Renita in Sydney during November – December 2019 , when John had undergone surgery and follow up treatment for cancer issues before returning to Darwin . On this occasion we spent a couple of enjoyable hours over lunch with John at the ever popular Alexandria Erskineville Bowling Club as guests of Club President, Barry Carroll .
As you can imagine we talked about many topics including the current COVID – 19 restrictions, the manner in which NSW and the NT have coped to date, likely outcomes and naturally rugby league. We were all in agreement that the recommencement of the NRL and other sporting competitions had provided a huge uplift in the spirits of rugby league supporters and the larger community. I must be honest and admit our discussions on NRL Club performances to date were somewhat swayed by the fact that we all support the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
John surprised us previously with his courage, resilience and humbleness during a extremely trying time and once again his attitude and outlook had not changed , since we last saw him.There is a chance that John will be back in Sydney in coming months and we will certainly see him again ; will try to fit in an NRL match , naturally featuring South Sydney .
Too soon it was time to say “good bye” to John , we wished him safe travel back to Darwin, continued recovery to good health and we look forward to seeing him again. Our special thanks to Club President Barry Carroll for his hospitality and ongoing support to the Men of League Foundation.
by Ken Vessey
Wellbeing Coordinator Northern Sydney Men of League
PHOTO – LHS Warren Thompson, John Walsh , Barry Carroll and Ken Vessey