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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Lindner wins 62nd Burramine Gift - News report

Lindner wins 62nd Burramine Gift - News report

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Lindner wins 62nd Burramine Gift

The 62nd running of the Burramine Gift was won by Jarrod Lindner from Lavington who is trained by 1981 Gift winner Adrian Fury.

By Fiona Blick
MARCH 19, 2013 5:24pm

“You Burramine people always set yourselves a very high standard and you have reached it yet again.”

So said a Victorian Athletic League official, and over 250 competitors, their families and supporters couldn’t have agreed more.

The 62nd running of the Burramine Gift was won by Jarrod Lindner, from Lavington, who is trained by 1981 Burramine Gift winner, Adrian Fury.

Fury himself competed in two events at the meeting. Lindner is the sixth Albury runner to win Gift.

Lindner started off 10.75 metres and ran a highly competitive 12.21 seconds to beat AFL boundary umpire Adam Coote.

Twelve past Gift winners were present at the meet including Fred Sinclair, who won the first of his two Burramine gifts, exactly 60 years ago. Fred was given the honour of putting the winner's shirt on Lindner.

President Peter Lawless thanked all sponsors for support, especially Yarrawonga Holiday Park Committee.

“The Burramine Gift officials looked distinctive in Yarrawonga Holiday Park- sponsored flouro vests with the Yarrawonga Holiday Park logo on the back,” he said.

Secretary Frances Connell said the children's events were filled to capacity this year.

“These events showed some very promising future runners who have the ability to be successful in athletics,” Frances said. “Parents, who came to Burramine for the first time, were very impressed with the events for their children.”

The Burramine Gift Carnival has always been known as a family carnival and this year was no exception.

“In a first for Burramine, husband and wife, Wally (who won the 1993 Burramine Gift) and Anna Pasquali from Wangaratta, both ran in the 300 metres Women's /Veterans' event,” Frances said.

“Neither was successful in that one, but Anna won the BROO 400 metres Women's Series final for the second successive year. For the last two years, heats of the series have been run at meetings across Victoria during the summer and the final is held at Burramine.”

Also Canberra husband and wife, Kevin and Vicki Matthews and their son, Brendan, all ran.

“We had several international runners this year. Bola Lawal from Nigeria, Omar Bayhow from Somalia and Bikramjeet Singh from Asia have all made homes in Australia and all ran in the Carnival,” Frances said.

“Robert Spencer, originally from Essendon and now teaching at Sacred Heart College was unlucky not to be in the Gift final. He was pleased to have the opportunity to meet his former Assumption College teacher, Ray Carroll.

Before opening the carnival, Ray spoke of having known Burramine president, Peter Lawless, and other local people for many years and recounted the proud history of the Sports Club.”

Frances said the ‘social hour’ held at ClubMulwala after the Carnival was extremely well patronised.

“More than 200 people came along for the official presentation of the cheques, sashes and trophies,” she said.


There's a very good article in Saturday's Age (23/03) written by Martin Flanagan who attended the Burramine Gift carnival. Unfortunately I couldn't find it on-line to be able to re-produce it here. But if you have access to a copy of Saturday's Age sports section - have a read, Flanagan talks about the origins of the Burramine township and how the Burramine Gift is about all that is left of "Burramine".


Worth a read.

I went to the Burramine Sports last Saturday because Ursula wanted me to.

I met Ursula about 20 years ago in a shelter for Aboriginal women in Collingwood run by Ursula's mob, the Sisters of Mercy. Ursula's surname is Gilbert but she lists among her forebears an Irish family called the Holians. When the Kelly gang were out and about, the Holians were what was known as ''Kelly sympathisers''.

Ursula got me into Ned Kelly's funeral mass. Years ago, she took me to meet an old woman in a Melbourne hospital who was the granddaughter of Ned's sweetheart, Annie Lloyd. Ursula's jolly and wise. We share a love of the bush and Irish poetry. If I'd had a vote, I would have voted for Ursula for Pope.

Periodically, ever so gently, Ursula requires me to do something. This time it was to attend the Burramine sports carnival. ''Where's Burramine?'' I asked. ''Near Yarrawonga,'' she replied. Yarrawonga's on the New South Wales border. Ursula insisted I come for the day and stay the night at the Tungamah pub. I didn't understand why I had to stay at the Tungamah pub, I wanted to drive back, but she kept telling me what a marvellous place it is.

The Burramine carnival is held on the Yarrawonga footy ground, the J.C.Lowe Oval. In the old days, it was held in Biddy Lawless' paddock in Burramine.

In the 1860s, a group of Scots and Irish arrived in Melbourne and set out on foot to take land in the north of the colony. The Irish settled in Burramine south and it was there, one Sunday after mass, that the idea was born of holding a sports day to buy a new set of jumpers for the Burramine footy club.

The sports were a great success, Burramine became a local footy power, the committee got ambitious and decided to upgrade the sports and become part of the Victorian sporting calendar with a meeting that acted as a prelude to the Stawell Gift. That's when the sports transferred to Yarrawonga and incorporated cycling (on a dirt track) and wood-chopping.

The cycling and the wood-chopping have gone, but the Burramine sports are still a pretty sight. The ground, surrounded by tall poplars and eucalypts, borders the Murray River. The weather came good in the course of the day so there was bright sunshine for the semi-finals of the gift. A raucous flock of several hundred white cockatoos provided the day's commentaries.

The organisers had done a great job, the program moving like clockwork, but the day's artists were the handicappers. Some races had men racing against women, some had men and women racing against kids.

Your eyes would be drawn to the start of a sprint. The runners would all come up together at the gun and then, after about five paces, your eyes would pick up a speck half-way down the track that was an eight-year-old-kid. He was in the race and, what's more, he was a chance to win. He pelted to the line, was beaten with a pace or two to go and left the track feeling he'd held his own with adults.

The best of the runners were very good. The final of the gift was six athletes, each with a classical style, prancing knees, arms moving like metronomes. But the race that got me was the Leo Burke Memorial Mile. The front marker was 50-plus in years. He looked like a bushie and was bare-footed. He couldn't run - he shuffled like both his legs had been broken - but he radiated physical vitality and his shorts were green and gold. He was running for the Australia of the Burramine carnival.

The Burramine carnival rests on an illusion. The illusion is that Burramine exists any more. All that is left is a cemetery and an old church. Basically, the Burramine carnival committee are fourth- and fifth-generation descendants of the people who headed forth on foot from Melbourne in the 1860s. Organising the carnival each year is their way of keeping the Burramine community alive and together.

When the day ended, Ursula and I drove about 20 kilometres to the west where she showed me a plaque commemorating Paddy Bourke's pub and store. The plaque notes that the Kelly gang used Paddy's boat when crossing the Murray River to hold up the town of Jerilderie. Then we drove south through paddocks with fresh-cut hay bales to Tungamah where former North Melbourne footballer Peter Chisnall has the pub.

Chisnall is fondly remembered in Tasmania for the life he injected into the community of New Norfolk when he coached there. His spacious, hospitable old pub is developing a role as a community hub, offering a day-care centre and a small library.

As we got out of the car, I learnt why I'd been summoned north. ''Lots of these little towns are dying,'' said Ursula. ''People are fighting to hold them together. They need to be encouraged.''

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