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Archive for September, 2018

Brave captain returns for first game

CBR Brave captain Mark Rummukainen (right) with Jordie Gavin and Maxime Suzzarini. Photo: Melissa AdamsHe was a leading force behind the birth of the CBR Brave, and captain Mark Rummukainen has returned from the world championships to lead the side for the first time.
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The Brave hosts defending Australian Ice Hockey League champions the Sydney Ice Dogs at the Phillip Swimming and Ice Skating Centre on Saturday night.

It will be Rummukainen’s inaugural game for the Brave after he missed its 2-0 season-opening loss to Newcastle a fortnight ago while representing Australia at the division two world championships in Serbia.

“I was pretty bummed to miss out on the first game with a big crowd and a bit of hype around it, but obviously you’re not going to turn down representing your country,” Rummukainen said.

“To see tangible evidence of what we wanted to get done is being done, I’ll be very proud and excited to see a huge crowd and play as part of the Brave.

“Hopefully we can put out a huge effort and come away with some points.”

Rummukainen was the former captain of the Canberra Knights before the team folded just six weeks before the start of the season.

He played a major role in getting the Brave off the ground and ensuring there remained an ice hockey team in Canberra.

Rummukainen is hoping for better luck than what Australia had in winning just one of its five games at the world championships.

”You go to a tournament like that to win, so it’s disappointing,” he said.

“We had two overtime losses and the last game against Serbia, they scored in the last three minutes to win 1-0, so there’s three games that could have gone either way.

“A lot of positives came out of it for our program going forward, but we would’ve liked to have at least won a medal.”

The Brave takes on an Ice Dogs team in turmoil after the shock resignation of head coach Ron Kuprowsky on Thursday.

Assistant coaches Colin Downie and Brad Andrlon have also stepped down, but the Brave is wary of taking them lightly.

“They won the whole thing last year and they’ve changed their style of play the last couple of years,” Rummukainen said.

“You’ve got to beat every team and you’ve got to win games to win the league, so we’re new and want to prove something, so it’s time we stick it to them.”

SATURDAY: Australian Ice Hockey League: CBR Brave v Sydney Ice Dogs at the Phillip Swimming and Ice Skating Centre, 5.30pm.

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Lost world of The Grand Budapest Hotel’s Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig: ‘a connoisseur of coursing blood and throbbing temple’.Like a literary version of the Kevin Bacon Game, it’s a challenge to find an important cultural figure from the early 1900s through the 1940s who didn’t connect with Stefan Zweig. Zionist founder Theodor Herzl gave him his start with front-page articles as a 19-year-old. Einstein became a fan. Zweig introduced Dali to Freud and served in the War Archive with Rilke before working with Joyce to translate A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man into Italian. He watched Rodin sculpt and Richard Strauss compose.
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Today some of his exile-friends have joined him in receiving popular revivals: Joseph Roth (who abused Zweig despite – or because of – his unfailing financial support), Jakob Wassermann and the daring Irmgard Keun, who sued the Gestapo for lost income after the ban of her ”degenerate” books.

Before Wes Anderson ”discovered” the world’s most popular writer of the 1920s and ’30s, more recent fans such as Colin Firth, Kazuo Ishiguro, Belinda Carlisle, Carla Bruni, Salman Rushdie and Antony Beevor lauded the Austrian writer, whose massive body of work includes a cache of novellas, biographies of figures as diverse as Marie Antoinette, Magellan and Freud, a memoir of Europe’s interwar years, a novel, plays, libretti, and hundreds of poems and essays. In the decades after his death in Brazil in 1942, Zweig’s works faded from popular consciousness. In France, though, he has remained among the top three foreign-language bestsellers, behind only Shakespeare and Agatha Christie.

Those who become acquainted with Zweig through the coda that ends The Grand Budapest Hotel, ”Inspired by the writings of Stefan Zweig”, may find themselves perplexed when they crack open the author’s greatest fiction. While Zweig peaked during the glitzy but uncertain era that embraced Hemingway and Fitzgerald, his characters don’t muster the manic levity of flapper girls or the bravado of post-war wanderers. Likewise absent are the zany characters who populate Anderson’s jolly romp.

While often daring in its descriptions of sexual obsession and psychological undoing, Zweig’s work retains the feel of a lost world as its passions remain keenly topical. His writing teeters between the old and the new, the cream-puff facade of decadent Viennese splendour alongside dirty secrets, with nods towards Freud, that proliferate in the tightly constrained.

Zweig’s characters allow their misunderstood but unchecked emotions – and their straining bodies – to betray their assumed selves and tempt death. There are murders, illicit affairs, suicides and devilish psychological manipulation, but – unlike in The Grand Budapest Hotel – no madcap chases from evil henchmen. Zweig and his work are comfortable on film. In the 1930s, Hollywood offered him $US3000 (circa $40,000 today) a week to write for the screen; he declined. But he occasionally penned scripts, and more than 40 film versions of his work have appeared, including Max Ophuls’ 1948 Letter from an Unknown Woman and, most recently, A Promise (based on Journey into the Past).

Pushkin Press, leader in the Zweig resurgence, has ensured the availability of much of his work, often in the inestimable Anthea Bell’s crisp new translations. To coincide with the release of The Grand Budapest Hotel, Pushkin has issued a Wes Anderson-curated best-of sampler. Inexplicably sporting the title of one of the film’s sections, The Society of the Crossed Keys includes a French Riviera-based novella about obsession and the beginnings of Zweig’s memoir and his only full-length novel, alongside an interview between Anderson and George Prochnik, whose new book on Zweig, The Impossible Exile, appears next month.

Anderson admits to stealing his film’s structure from Zweig’s most common and affecting trope: the amazing ”true” story of an individual as relayed to an unsuspecting author, who remains a mere receptacle. The film’s introduction lifts nearly verbatim the first passages of Beware of Pity: ”There is nothing more erroneous than the idea, which is only too common, that a writer’s imagination is always at work … In reality he does not have to invent his stories; he need only let characters and events find their own way to him …”

When an artist names his inspiration, it’s tempting to hunt point by point for what he has captured and twisted from the original. But an inspiration remains by its nature unviewable and often mingles with too many other unidentifiable strands. The appropriation of a work, though, can be tinged through this kind of use. Woody Allen’s Love and Death spoofs the great Russian novels, just as his Midnight in Paris caricatures the Lost Generation, but the viewer is complicit with the jokes through shared knowledge. For a writer who has fallen into relative obscurity, this type of reinvention and subversion becomes more problematic.

A primer for Anderson fans arriving at Zweig with only The Grand Budapest Hotel for guidance: forget the film’s gorgeous Technicolor lobbies and deadpan delivery, physical comedy and whimsical characters. Most importantly, forget the raucous laughter.

Zweig’s writing is more subtle, but at the same time overflows with over-the-top, emotionally draining yet exhilarating melodrama. His work does not remove the viewer from their situation the way the best comedy can; his dramas amplify and, at their most successful, elucidate it. If Anderson is all about laughs, Zweig is a connoisseur of coursing blood and throbbing temple.

This marriage might seem more fitting when viewing Anderson’s film as a pleasure for those seeking reprieve into an imaginary place where the surroundings are more beautiful and the worst scenarios (dismemberment, incarceration) become the stuff of hilarity. Zweig, too, was a crowd pleaser of a different sort. Thomas Mann and Robert Musil disregarded him as a populiser for the masses, and his work helped overthrow the belief that German-language writers must be difficult.

There are writers we love to resuscitate over and over. Some finally stick, their hearts strong enough to sustain the repeated alternating throttles and neglect. Aside from his masterful stomach-churning plots that make the most ordinary life appear precious and precarious, Zweig provides a back-story that becomes ever more tantalising. With his life’s glittering distractions, his precisely groomed moustache, fussy manners and naive pacifism, it is tempting to settle on the figure of a man who appeared to have everything even as the world self-destructed – and who is now resigned to history as the driving-force behind the double-suicide that cut short his life and that of his 33-year-old wife.

Most important about Zweig is the cache of gems he left behind. The World of Yesterday, his memoir of Europe from the turn of the century through to the rise of Hitler, remains a touchstone with its overview of shifting culture, morals and politics. The culmination of his fiction, Beware of Pity, first published in 1939, alternately condemns war and muses on how an insignificant remark can reshape a life if unbridled emotions rule actions.

Alongside The Luzhin Defense by Vladimir Nabokov, Zweig’s final work, The Royal Game (or A Chess Story), remains one of the finest fictions about the game. In it, a man imprisoned by the Gestapo steals a book in hopes of maintaining his sanity. To his horror, he discovers that the book is a compilation of famous chess matches. For those looking for a more complete education in Zweig, Pushkin offers a 720-page Collected Stories.

There’s hope, still, that the new wave Anderson has added to the ever-flowing Zweig resurgence will keep the writer where he belongs: in the hands of readers who will wonder, as did Anderson, ”How is it that I don’t already know about this?”

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Dunemann defends controversial call

Adamant … Andrew Dunemann has defended his ‘no-try’ ruling during the Parramatta-Wests Tigers match on Monday. Photo: Melissa AdamsNRL video referee Andrew Dunemann has staunchly defended his decision to disallow a try to Parramatta due to obstruction in its 21-18 loss to Wests Tigers on Monday, adamant the call was a ”no-brainer” despite criticism from the Eels.
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Dunemann and fellow video referee Steve Clark overruled on-field referee Matt Cecchin after he approved a try to centre Will Hopoate, ruling Eels forward David Gower impeded Tigers youngster Luke Brooks, who fell to the ground.

An angry Eels coach Brad Arthur accused the halfback of taking a dive, while Parramatta star Jarryd Hayne branded the obstruction rule a “lottery”.

As the former player in the box, it is Dunemann’s responsibility to make the final call.

The former Canberra Raiders assistant and interim coach used his blog on the website for his company Boom Sports Management and Media to stand by his decision.

“The try in which Luke Brooks was interfered with, in my opinion, was a no-brainer,” he wrote.

“In my opinion there is no way he took a dive, and there was no way I was going to be the person who questioned his character with the evidence I had in front of me.

“It doesn’t take much when you are [sliding in defence] to be brought down, particularly when it’s big man against little.

”The other things to note are Brooks was basically in front of the sweep runner, and had no reason to play Russian roulette as it would have been a three-on-three situation, and possibility four-on-three to the defence.

“The last damning piece is the sweep runner runs into the immediate space Brooks would have been defending in.”

The obstruction interpretation has been a constant source of frustration for players and fans this year. It intensified when the NRL admitted the referees were wrong in awarding Manly’s Kieran Foran a crucial try in the team’s win over North Queensland last Friday night.

Video referee Paul Mellor, who made the decision, was dropped for this weekend.

“To all intents and purposes it [Hopoate’s no try] is what happened in the Cowboys game, except instead of being able to make some play, Brooks was on the ground,” former halfback Dunemann wrote.

“The inside defender is denied a chance to fill his immediate space, in which the attacker continues to run to create an advantage.

“The tolerance of contact will always be different depending on what then unfolds with the play, what type of play it is, where the space is created, and where the try is scored.”

Arthur vented his frustration after the game, accusing Brooks of gamesmanship and said clubs are now confused about what constitutes obstruction.

“I don’t know what an obstruction is any more,” Arthur said.

“As coaches, we’ll start to encourage our players to take a dive.

“The rule is you’ve got to get back on the inside shoulder and that’s what Dave Gower did.”

Hayne also insisted it should have been a try.

“In the past, that’s a try,” he said.

“Let’s just keep consistent and on the same page and not change it a week, two weeks after.

“That’s what’s frustrating the most.”

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An ice-cold fairytale thaws into everyday sentiment

The original Snow Queen, Hans Christian Andersen’s frigid, fairytale stranger with a kiss colder than ice, has a powerful if ambiguous attraction. You can see why she appeals to Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Cunningham. What sort of villain is she? Not evil so much as aloof, even obscure. She abducts a young boy, offers him the whole world and a new pair of skates, then disappears, leaving him stranded in a wasteland of adult rationality, his childhood dreams extinguished.
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For Cunningham, an empathetic and humane writer of slightly arty bestsellers, she is the perfect rival: an enemy of sentiment.

It is 2004 and Barrett Meeks has just seen the eye of God winking at him above a wintry New York skyline. At one time considered a sort of literary critical wunderkind, Barrett is now drifting through his middle years, restless and unfulfilled.

He likes his vaguely bohemian life, working in a low-paid retailing job, scribbling notes on Madame Bovary in his spare time, but he wants more: more meaning, more love, more life. He’s a romantic with a craving for faith, but he’s painfully aware of his incapacity for genuine religious conviction. Surely this celestial vision is what he’s been waiting for? A guarantee that everything will be all right, that he is not alone. But is it God? Or is it only the eye of that damned Snow Queen? A cool, inscrutable presence that promises neither peace nor rest.

Across town, Barrett’s older brother, Tyler, has just woken from a strange dream. He’s a singer-songwriter struggling with a cocaine habit, struggling to make the most of his modest talent and struggling with the news that his wife-to-be has only months to live. He wants to write her the perfect love song, a goodbye of everlasting value, but it’s not going well. Is he trying too hard? Does he love her, or only her tragedy? There is a speck of something embedded in his eye, and a pain in his heart like a sliver of ice, a secret coldness overtaking his soul.

It sounds like fairytale kitsch – the eye in the sky, enchanted grit and heartslivers – and it is fairytale kitsch, of a novelistic kind, but, to be fair, there’s also an involving human drama that develops around it. The problem with The Snow Queen is more in the rather dull way this quiet drama resolves itself.

Things begin strongly. Cunningham evokes a dark and rustling world, half-deserted, full of ragged shadows, unnamed and unnameable. The brothers and their lovers prowl the wintry streets, animal and enigmatic, their thoughts and feelings caught incomplete in fleeting moonbeam moments of insight. Through Barrett’s eyes (playing the part of Gerda, Hans Christian Andersen’s young heroine, all devotion and kindness), everything seems veiled and muffled, suggesting imminent revelation or renewal.

But satisfaction sags as fairytale potential gives way to something more quotidian. There are hints of intricacy, patterns that might have been, but as the magic recedes, characters who promise to be round fall into flatness, and suddenly this fairytale of New York collapses into chatter and explication. What, we wonder, is it all for?

Predictably, Cunningham ends in valorising Barrett’s gentle romanticism, offering us a lesson on the power of naive faith, much like Andersen did before him. As for Tyler, through him we learn that you can’t force artistic inspiration. Before you can write about love, or grief, or any other emotion, you first need to let yourself experience it to the full.

But what of the limited value of knowledge derived from experience? This novel, though not without its attractions, particularly in the artful way it plays on the shifting and irregular nature of desire, seems somehow empty. It smacks of sentiment for sentiment’s sake. Imaginative language surrenders to the ordinary and, in a poetic sense, is stripped of authenticity. A sad fate, even if they do all live happily ever after.

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ACT Brumbies captain Ben Mowen backs Robbie Coleman to make next step

Robbie Coleman just fails to break the Chiefs defence on Friday night.How the match unfoldedAll the talking pointsBrumbies fire warning shot to rivals
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In a star-studded ACT Brumbies backline with Wallabies in almost every position, Robbie Coleman is easily overlooked.

But Brumbies skipper Ben Mowen has backed the diminutive winger to be ready to take the next step to representative rugby after he continued his brilliant season against the reigning Super Rugby champions at Canberra Stadium on Friday night.

While Coleman did not add to his season tally of six tries, he put in another brilliant display on the left wing and will start to cause head coach Stephen Larkham headaches at the selection table with the imminent return of Henry Speight (jaw).

Having been hampered by groin problems in recent years, Coleman is reaping the benefits of a full pre-season and he’s seized his chance through injuries to both Speight and Joe Tomane (foot).

Now he has made the No.11 jersey his own in the absence of the highly fancied Speight.

While Coleman is a natural finisher, it is his work ethic that Mowen said has been most impressive since he grabbed his chance with both hands.

He chases kicks like a man possessed and is almost impossible to knock down, despite being one of the smallest wingers in Super Rugby.

Mowen joked it was his upbringing in Queanbeyan that made him such a hard nut.

“I don’t think size is ever going to be an issue, it’s how physical you are and he’s a physical bloke,” Mowen said.

“He’s hard to tackle because of how quick he is and … he’s tough, and as he tells you all the time, Queanbeyan’s the toughest place on earth.”

Coleman’s growth this season has created just one of a raft of selection dilemmas facing Larkham.

It is a problem Brumbies director of rugby Laurie Fisher doesn’t envy, although he admits it is one of those pesky good problems.

Not only does Larkham have to decide what to do on the wing when Speight returns, possibly before the South Africa tour in a fortnight, but there is competition in almost every position.

Christian Lealiifano made his first start since ankle surgery last year at the expense of Pat McCabe, who has been in fantastic form at inside centre.

When McCabe came off the bench, the courageous back slotted in seamlessly at fullback and displayed his trademark courage, as well as the deft touch he has added to his game this year.

He attacked the line with his usual gusto before flicking the pass wide to put Coleman away at the very last second, wearing the thunderous tackle like a badge of honour.

“We spoke after last year’s final about improving our depth, playing a good match-day 23, having 30 guys who can all do a job for you,” Fisher said.

“We’ve done well, we’ve had quite a few injuries over the last five-six-seven weeks and we’ve come through it reasonably well, we’ve grown depth, given guys opportunity and now we’ve got selection dilemmas.”

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Red Zone: Honoured to wear insignia of Anzacs

When I was a young kid running around, playing cricket and soccer in the backyard and on the road outside our house in Port Moresby, I idolised the Australian cricket team and, in particular, Steve Waugh. Having a role model was important, not so much for future aspirations of being a professional sportsman, but more for someone to look up to, admire and replicate all the good qualities in that person in my everyday life.
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There are many role models in life, not least of which are the men and women of our armed services. The thoughts of all Australians are with them this week, as we commemorate ANZAC Day, and we were privileged to be joined by Corporal Seamus Donaghue of Brisbane’s 7th Brigade yesterday to talk to us and present us our jerseys.

Corporal Donaghue was injured while on deployment in Afghanistan in 2010. He was shot in the leg and suffered a shattered femur, an injury that still requires rehabilitation more than two years after it happened – it certainly puts a rugby injury layoff into perspective.

What he spoke of which hit home most with the team was the similarities between sports and those who serve for our great country. Of course you can never compare war to sport, but in his words what was most similar was the fact that you must rely on your mates and everyone doing their jobs to the best of their ability to reach a common goal. When Corporal Donaghue was injured, it was his mates that got him safely out of harms way. His insistence that everyone must work toward a goal for it to be achieved is something we could relate to very clearly and will certainly be in our minds come kick off against the Hurricanes.

As players, we understand that being role models is part of our job, but it’s the job of every Australian this weekend to remember the sacrifices made by our armed forces as we reflect on 99 years since the ANZACS landed at the Gallipoli peninsula.

ANZAC Day is such an important event on the Australian calendar and we’re very honoured to have the opportunity to play in a special jersey featuring the Rising Sun logo of the Australian Army tonight as we take on the Hurricanes in the New Zealand capital.

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Raiders coach to star on reality TV

Ricky Stuart is working on a reality TV show to find rugby league’s next big thing. Photo: Graham TidyHe is the coach of the Canberra Raiders and has been busy re-signing the club’s young talent, but Ricky Stuart will also be the face of a ground-breaking rugby league reality television show designed to find the next NRL superstar.
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The Coach will feature 15 unsigned league players who will be put through a series of tests and the prize is a full-time contract with an NRL club.

Stuart didn’t want to go into details about the program when contacted on Friday morning, as his focus is on Sunday’s match against the Manly Sea Eagles at Brookvale Oval.

“It’s a concept I’ll be working on in the off-season and at this stage I’m not going to make any other comment about it because I’ve got a game to prepare for,” Stuart said.

A Raiders spokesman said Stuart’s involvement with the program wouldn’t affect his commitments with the Raiders.

It has beenreported that Stuart would attend a camp with a shortlist of 100 contestants during the week of the Raiders’ first bye, on June 13 at Leichhardt Oval.

Most of the filming for the Fox Sports show would take place at the University of New England in Armidale once the Raiders’ season is over.

The Raiders have been reported – along with the Bulldogs, Roosters, Panthers and Storm – as clubs that would be interested in signing the winner of the program to a $75,000 contract, which would be exempt from the salary cap.

The show is likely to be broadcast in October and November to allow the winner to begin pre-season training with a club. Fox Sports have shot similar shows in recent years, including for soccer and cricket.

Both have Canberra links.

The ACT’s Luke Pilkington won the second season of Football Superstar in 2009 and earned an A-League contract with the Melbourne Victory.

Cricket Superstar was aired in 2012.

One of the finalists, Chris Chellew from WA, joined the ACT Comets and now plays club cricket in Canberra.

The Raiders have locked away several of their young stars in recent weeks.

Shaun Fensom, Jack Wighton, Joel Edwards and Shannon Boyd, along with experienced prop Dane Tilse, have all agreed to new deals.

The Raiders are still hoping star fullback Anthony Milford changes his mind about joining the Brisbane Broncos next season and stays in Canberra.

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ANZAC: Young keep up with tradition

THROUGH THICK AND THIN: The march in Newcastle proceeded down Hunter Street before the Anzac Day ceremony was forced to move indoors due to the rain. Pictures: Jonathan Carroll THROUGH THICK AND THIN: The march down Hunter Street before the Anzac Day ceremony was forced to move indoors due to the rain. Pictures: Jonathan Carroll
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YOUNG and old braved the heavy rain in Newcastle yesterday for the Anzac Day march.

However, president of the City of Newcastle RSL Sub-Branch Ken Fayle conceded the weather did cause a slight drop in numbers.

And whereas last year thousands packed into Civic Park for the main service, only a small number could fit into City Hall.

“We could only fit about 240 people,” Mr Fayle said.

“We had to move the service into the hall, which meant that people who wanted to attend couldn’t.”

One touching moment during the ceremony was when representatives for Afghan staff, who worked with Australian forces, participated in the tribute laying.

THROUGH THICK AND THIN: The march down Hunter Street before the Anzac Day ceremony was forced to move indoors due to the rain. Pictures: Jonathan Carroll

THROUGH THICK AND THIN: The march down Hunter Street before the Anzac Day ceremony was forced to move indoors due to the rain. Pictures: Jonathan Carroll

THROUGH THICK AND THIN: The march down Hunter Street before the Anzac Day ceremony was forced to move indoors due to the rain. Pictures: Jonathan Carroll

THROUGH THICK AND THIN: The march down Hunter Street before the Anzac Day ceremony was forced to move indoors due to the rain. Pictures: Jonathan Carroll

THROUGH THICK AND THIN: The march down Hunter Street before the Anzac Day ceremony was forced to move indoors due to the rain. Pictures: Jonathan Carroll

THROUGH THICK AND THIN: The march down Hunter Street before the Anzac Day ceremony was forced to move indoors due to the rain. Pictures: Jonathan Carroll

THROUGH THICK AND THIN: The march down Hunter Street before the Anzac Day ceremony was forced to move indoors due to the rain. Pictures: Jonathan Carroll

THROUGH THICK AND THIN: The march down Hunter Street before the Anzac Day ceremony was forced to move indoors due to the rain. Pictures: Jonathan Carroll

THROUGH THICK AND THIN: The march down Hunter Street before the Anzac Day ceremony was forced to move indoors due to the rain. Pictures: Jonathan Carroll

THROUGH THICK AND THIN: The march down Hunter Street before the Anzac Day ceremony was forced to move indoors due to the rain. Pictures: Jonathan Carroll

THROUGH THICK AND THIN: The march down Hunter Street before the Anzac Day ceremony was forced to move indoors due to the rain. Pictures: Jonathan Carroll

THROUGH THICK AND THIN: The march down Hunter Street before the Anzac Day ceremony was forced to move indoors due to the rain. Pictures: Jonathan Carroll

THROUGH THICK AND THIN: The march down Hunter Street before the Anzac Day ceremony was forced to move indoors due to the rain. Pictures: Jonathan Carroll

THROUGH THICK AND THIN: The march down Hunter Street before the Anzac Day ceremony was forced to move indoors due to the rain. Pictures: Jonathan Carroll

THROUGH THICK AND THIN: The march down Hunter Street before the Anzac Day ceremony was forced to move indoors due to the rain. Pictures: Jonathan Carroll

‘‘These young men worked side-by-side with Australian forces and were subject to the same dangers,’’ Mr Fayle said.

During the march, David Harvey – the City of Newcastle RSL Pipe Band drum major – and his grandson, Noah, 5, led the way down Hunter Street Mall side by side.

“He’s my assistant,” Mr Harvey said.

“It’s a big thrill for me because it’s three generations; his mum is a drummer too.

“It’s good to get them involved and carry on with tradition.”

Despite having his leg amputated last year from an infection, Cliff Love, 91, was determined to pay his respects yesterday.

A member of the 7th Division of the Australian Army, he served in New Guinea during World War II.

Soon after returning home he became a police officer, staying in the role for 38 years and becoming a senior officer in Newcastle.

“It’s something that should be carried on every year, it’s very special,” he said.

Newcastle resident Julian Cutcher never met his grandfather, Colin, who died before he was born.

But each year the 16-year-old marches with his grandfather’s medals to honour what he went through over six years as a prisoner of war at Changi during World War II.

“My mum cries every year,” he said.

“He passed away before I was born but I want to honour his achievements.”

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Eastlake concerned about home

There is concern among Eastlake players that they will be moved from Manuka Oval. Photo: Jeffrey ChanEastlake is concerned about the NEAFL club’s long-term future at a redeveloped Manuka Oval, with fears it could become too expensive to continue playing on the ground it has called home for almost a century.
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Manuka has undergone extensive upgrades over the past two years, starting with the installation of lights and then a $9-million renovation of the playing surface and drainage.

Work on the grandstands is next on the agenda, with plans to increase capacity to 19,000.

Demons coach Anthony Bourke was concerned all the work might make Manuka too big for Eastlake and leaving it as the only Canberra club without an established home – Ainslie has Alan Ray Oval, Belconnen has Kippax Oval and Queanbeyan also has its own ground.

With AFL games, first-class and international cricket now regularly played at Manuka, Bourke was worried community based clubs such as Eastlake might be forced out of the venue.

There are also concerns about the need to hire security staff at a bigger venue, as well as catering contracts preventing the Demons from making money through operating the canteen.

It would leave Eastlake looking for a new home, with Phillip’s Football Park one possibility.

With Manuka currently unavailable due to work on the playing surface, the Demons will play Southport at Footy Park on Saturday.

They play their first game at Manuka next weekend, against Queanbeyan.

“There is some issues there, we just want to make sure that if there’s an opportunity for us to be part of it going forward that we want to,” Bourke said.

“If not, we need to start looking at something else.

“We’ve probably got the worst facilities, as far as home-ground training venue, of the remaining four NEAFL teams in Canberra.

“They all get to train and play on their home ground and we don’t.

“If it’s not a viable option for us, we need to reassess where we’re at.”

Eastlake football manager Stephen Soulsby said, given the club’s historical connection to Manuka, the preference was to remain at Manuka, but the club would also need to be financially prudent when making a decision.

He felt the status of playing in the NEAFL was sufficiently high enough to warrant playing at a first-class venue such as Manuka.

Soulsby also wanted to utilise the lights for night games and said he would be pushing the NEAFL to introduce that into its schedule next season.

“Obviously there’s the potential to play night games at Manuka as well with the lights being installed in the last two or three years,” Soulsby said.

“It’s about being smart about who you play there, when you play there … obviously you want to play against a local rival and try to draw a crowd.”

The ACT government did not return Fairfax Media’s calls.

While many predicted Eastlake to struggle this season, it produced an upset nine-point victory over Sydney Uni last week, which earned midfielder Harrison Bryant a nomination for the Rising Star award.

He won the Demons’ first division best and fairest last year.

NEAFL ROUND FIVE, SATURDAY

Eastlake v Southport at Football Park, Phillip, 11.30am

Sydney Uni v Ainslie at Blacktown, 12pm

Sydney Hills Eagles v Belconnen at Bruce Purser Reserve, Sydney, 12pm

Queanbeyan v Aspley at Queanbeyan, 12pm

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Alex Leapai vs Wladimir Klitschko: Where to watch the fight

Wladimir Klitschko and Alex Leapai face off in Germany ahead of their heavyweight title fight. Photo: Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty ImagesAmber fluid won’t be flowing but a number of pubs and clubs will open their doors early on Sunday morning to air Alex Leapai’s historic underdog battle against heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko.
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Venues in Toowoomba, Brisbane and the Gold Coast will be opening from 6am to air the bout, which is exclusively shown on Foxtel’s Main Event channel.

Due to Leapai’s ties to the area, the Logan Brothers Leagues Club has been given special licence from Foxtel to air the pay per view event. Club president Matt Mead said the community would turn up in droves to cheer the local hero.

‘‘There’ll be a breakfast on and an old boys reunion because Alex himself is a Logan Brothers old boy, playing for the club from when he was young to seniors,’’ he said.

‘‘There’s a lot of people who aren’t really boxing fans but they’re getting involved just to support Alex and his family.’’

The interest is just as strong in Brisbane, with city venue Pig ‘n’ Whistle Riverside opening from 5.45am to accommodate interest, according to manager Jack Nicholson.

‘‘We’ve had loads of inquiries, the phones have been ringing off the hook for the last week and a half,’’ he said.

Soft drink will be served until 9am, when punters will hopefully be able to celebrate an unlikely Leapai victory with a harder beverage.

Venues showing the Alex Leapai fight:

Acacia Ridge Hotel

1386 Beaudesert Road, Acacia Ridge

Opening: 7am

Serving: Breakfast

Aspley Hornets Australian Football Club

50 Graham Road, Carseldine

Opening: 6.30am

Serving: Light buffet breakfast

Brisbane Lions Australian Football Club

2 Pannikin Street, Rochedale South

Opening: 6am

Serving: Breakfast

Burleigh Hotel

4 The Esplanade, Burleigh Heads

Opening: 6am

Serving: Breakfast

Eatons Hill Hotel

646 South Pine Rd, Brendale

Opening: 6am

Serving: A sausage sizzle, with funds raised going towards Solomon Islands flood relief charities

Hamilton Hotel

442 Kingsford Smith Dr, Hamilton

Opening: 7am

Serving: Breakfast

Logan Brothers RSL Club

170 Wembley Rd, Logan Central

Opening: 6am

Serving: Breakfast

Logan Diggers Club

42-48 Blackwood Road, Logan Central

Opening: 7am

Serving: Breakfast

Manly Hotel

54 Cambridge Parade, Manly

Opening: 6am

Serving: Breakfast

Pig ‘n’ Whistle Riverside

123 Eagle Street, Brisbane

Opening: 5.45am

Serving: Full English breakfast and bacon and egg burgers

Southern Hotel

839 Ruthven St, Toowoomba

Opening: 6am

Serving: Breakfast

Cover charge: $12 (includes breakfast voucher)

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