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An Anzac Day Story

Last week in our Preview, there was a short Anzac tribute and a mention that the Club would be holding its traditional Anzac Day ceremony on Monday night before training

This ceremony is held in front of the garden of Gallipoli Rosemary planted by the Club in 2015 to mark the centenary of Anzac. Each year our Chairman Rob Cusack makes a short speech and then Neal Dickie leads the ode.

This year, after the Preview went out, Doug McGrath contacted the Club asking if he could attend the service. Everyone is always welcome, so Doug came along last night. After Rob had spoken, he invited Doug to say a few words. It had started to rain during Rob's talk and then it became heavier but listening to Doug, not one of the boys moved an inch.

Doug outlined how he played almost 150 games with Eastwood in the '60s and 70s. Starting in 1967 but missing both 1968 and 1969 serving in the Australian army which included a tour of Vietnam with an infantry battalion. Returning in 1970, he resumed playing with the Woods until 1976.

Doug mentioned how he - like many others - had struggled with his mental health after returning and how playing with the Club and the friendship and support he found at the Woods had helped him recover. He singled out Sean Mooney from those times, but there were many others.

Doug's now the National President of the 9RAR ASSOCIATION and still a keen follower of the Club he last played for nearly 50 years ago

Here's a rugby news program from those times with Doug on the Wing. There's an awful lot of familiar names in that Eastwood side (let alone the Wallaby holding up the Randwick scrum)

Doug has previously spoken of his experiences - you can read the full story here

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