Ipswich Turf Club general manager Brett Kitching and his family have long supported the QT and the importance it plays in city life. Picture: Rob Williams
Ipswich Turf Club general manager Brett Kitching and his family have long supported the QT and the importance it plays in city life. Picture: Rob Williams

Memories of great sport, friendships last a lifetime

AS a fifth generation Ipswichian, I have been an avid reader of the Queensland Times like my father and his father before him.

Over 100 years, our family has always had a great interest in the sports pages of the QT, while the front pages kept us up-to-date with wider community and national goings on.

This was the way to get all of the news on our city and further afield.

I can remember from a young age 50 years ago, how the first action in the morning was retrieving the QT from the front yard and working out who got which page to read first as the paper was split up into portions. If I got outside first in the morning, I got the precious sports pages first up.

Importance of football

THE QT was a vital information source over the years in our soccer family with many honoured, including four of the wider family playing for Australia over the past century.

The best way to keep up-to-date with the “world game” was a review of the QT every day.

From match reports for juniors, to reports on all levels of senior federation and church league football, the QT has covered it all over the years. This has included the reporting of successful top level Ipswich teams.

Ipswich football great Spencer Kitching
Ipswich football great Spencer Kitching

This is particularly important to our family as three generations – myself, my father Spencer and my grandfather Alexander, all received top level Brisbane Premiership winning medals – a family feat reported by the QT as possibly unmatched across Queensland. This highlighted the importance of that daily local information source to a heavyweight region of this particular sport over many years.

Contribution to Ipswich Cup

AS a passionate horse racing follower for 50 years and being employed in the sport for 16 years, I have long taken a particular interest in the famous and historic Ipswich Cup.

I have attended the past 42 editions.

After watching the late great Bart Cummings collect the Cup with his charge Lloyd’s boy in 1978, I was forever hooked.

While many have played an important role in the promotion and the conduct of the Ipswich Cup, the Queensland Times has brought it all together for many years, as well as reporting on racing on a weekly basis.

Recognition for these efforts was made nine years ago when the QT received the Queensland Racing Media Award for extensive coverage of the Ipswich Cup.

Great partnerships

ANOTHER area of first hand involvement of mine with the QT was as president of the Ipswich Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The QT was, as always, highly supportive to its partners including the Chamber during my involvement on this front. It was not only in sport or regional news, but business and economic matters that the QT gave extensive coverage across the city.

As well as the QT reporting about what has been important to the Ipswich community over 160 years, relationships and friendships have also been of immense importance to myself and many others throughout the community.

There has generally been an overriding approach from QT editorial staff to seek the positives in issues and to passionately support the efforts of wider community members.

No better example of this assertion is seen in sports editor David Lems who has for 36 years passionately supported all sports in Ipswich, finding a positive approach in all stories.

My first encounter with Lemsy was 35 years ago when a young cadet journalist interviewed a young football playing accountant. The cadet’s positive passionate approach for anything Ipswich was well apparent and has since never waned.

Other lifelong relationships go back as far as football reporting John Roderick decades ago, to racing and general news reporter Peter Foley who could find a positive story in every winner, to sports and general reporters Mick Hillier and current editor Andy Korner.

There are many others from the QT over the years with whom relationships have been built through general management, marketing, advertising areas etc.

The end of an era is a very sad time for this particular fifth generation Ipswichian.