Ipswich’s top 55 officials: City icons everywhere
DURING a period of anxiety and uncertainty, it's refreshing to have something positive to focus on.
That was releasing my list of top 55 Ipswich sports officials from the past four decades.
While it was inevitable some outstanding community contributors missed a mention, the general response was overwhelmingly supportive.
As was the case for other recent sporting lists, the dedicated people showcased last week could have appeared in different orders, depending on your sporting allegiances.
However, the common theme remained. These officials all made a difference to regional sport over many years.
It was pleasing to receive messages from the deserving recipients expressing how "honoured'' they were to be included.
That's the Ipswich spirit our city is renowned for. Work hard, look after your club and any accolades are a bonus.
While happy with the final list, it was difficult to leave some people out on this occasion.
Other valuable city contributors in my time covering regional sport include fanatical rugby league brothers Mark and Darren Boettcher, the ever-reliable hockey official Herb Eleison and Ipswich Turf Club officials like Barry Hinton and Dan Bowden.
In their own way, they have all progressed their sports and served with immense commitment.
The list could also have featured people like former Queensland Rugby League chairman Peter Betros, who also a highly regarded referees boss.
Every sport in our city has servants who have devoted countless hours to encouraging juniors, focusing on development and providing quality competition.
One reader suggested former Australian rugby player and official Mike McLean could have been included. He played, coached and was a respected chairman at Ipswich Rangers, among other vital roles.
However, Mike was before my time at the QT where I was more closely associated with his brother Jeff. The McLeans are a family steeped in rugby tradition.
As I look ahead, family connections may be a source of another "top'' list in the future.
Ipswich has plenty of wonderful clans to include there.
To everyone highlighted over the past week, take a bow. You deserve it.
To other accomplished past and present officials, thank you too.
Your efforts have been hugely appreciated.
Look out for more special QT features on sporting achievers.