Sport was, and still is a common form of entertainment for Freestone residents, and just about all sports have been played including cricket, football, vigaro, tennis, boxing, foot races, horse races. We have received information on the following clubs and an interesting poem which we have included in this section. Exactly who wrote the poem is uncertain and we have reproduced it exactly as it was written.
The photo of the 1929 football team is hanging in the Memorial hall. They were the winners of a special cup donated by Warwick and District Rugby League. How the photo comes to be in the hall is a story in itself. One of Mrs Alice Gillespie’s daughters found the photo in a second hand shop in Brisbane, and recognising it, bought it and sent it to her Mother, who in turn handed it to the Memorial Hall Committee for hanging in the hall.
The Gill Cup with the inscription SC 1937 - 1939 is also on show in the hall.
The local football team used to travel around the various districts playing football with return matches played here. Over the years, the lads from Freestone have become involved with the Warwick teams, and many of these lads have played in the Warwick and Toowoomba competitions carrying on the tradition of football, set many years ago by their grandfathers.
(Freestone Football Team 1926)
The following is a piece of poetry written by a footballer in 1929 and is titled Freestone.
In a busy little village
One could hardly call a town
Where the lads grow up footballers,
Those that Mother doesn’t drown
The most of these are cockies
Who work and plough the land
Which is black along the Creek flat
And the ridges, they look grand.
Where are girls are giddy flappers,
pleasant featured some are small,
Of course there are exceptions,
And these are rather tall.
Us local boys all know them,
But strike me pink and blue
They’d kid you up a sapling,
And then sit and laugh at you.
Do you know the little village,
Why it stands right on the line
About 10 miles from Warwick
And the climate it is fine.
Where the good housewives in terror
Of the night when she awakes
Hears the footballers busy training
And the hiss of tiger snakes.
For they breed around here in dozens
They are like the mice and rats
It’s funny how all vermin thrives
along the Freestone Flats.
And on these very rough roads
After decent soaking rains,
You’ll see the cockies bogged to their knees
Along the black soil plains.
We used to have a race club
But the boys from other parts
Hopped in with some ring tails
And broke the Stewards hearts.
And since that unsuccessful meeting
On Jerry’s lucerne land
Now this is confidential,
We have one and three in hand.
Of course we have our Churches
But Religion strikes me on my own,
We’d rather miss our cream cheque
Than Church at Freestone.
For they go there in dozens
And kneel all in a row,
And pray to the Almighty
To make their wheat crops grow.
And I predict in fifty years
When we are all underneath the ground
They’ll still be getting Footballers
From Freestone and around.
(Freestone Football club 1929)
The Vigaro Club was formed approximately 50 years ago. They first played in a triangular paddock near the grain shed, but later used the cricket pitch at the school for their weekly matches. Like the footballers, these ladies would travel to other districts (on the back of trucks, legs dangling over the edge) to play their matches. Some of the ladies involved with the vigaro team were Lucy and Nellie Booth, Jean Palmer, Ruby Shelley, Monie and Peggie Ryan, Nola, Mary and Alice Ramsey, Beatie Haywood, Hadie and Beatie Shelley, Evaline Simon and Ivy Lancaster. From all account, these ladies really enjoyed their weekends playing vigaro.
Tennis has always been very popular. Most weekends would see Freestone people playing tennis on a court near the hall. Later on, tennis was played at both Lower Freestone and Upper Freestone schools. Competitions would be played with other clubs and a good time was had by all. Many remember Warwick Tennis Coach Les Flanders coming out to coach the youngsters on the finer arts of the game.
Upper Freestone Tennis Club was formed during the time of Mr corley and was played on the bitumen court at the Upper Freestone School. Regular players included the Boyces, Roches, Surmans, Gillespies, Mauchs, Corleys, Lysaght and Doyle families, to name just a few. Teams from the Upper Freestone club played on the country tennis circuit and with occasional games in town. The club closed when the school closed in 1964.
(Left - J. Williamson, P. Ryan, D. Hall, K. Williamson, A. Tucker, J. Hartnett. 1928)
HORSE RACING AND FOOT RACING
Before the land was cleared for cultivation, the paddock we now know as the school paddock was heavily timbered. It was then known as the store paddock. Horse racing was regularly carried out on the edge of this paddock.
We found a programme for the Freestone Sports and Races in aid of the Freestone School of Arts Hall Improvements Fund. This sports day was held on Saturday, 9th November 1929.
The programme consisted of boys and girls U15 races which paid five shillings for first place and two and sixpence for second.
Ladies and Gents stepping the distance for which they paid ten shillings for first - entry fee was sixpence for ladies and one shilling for men.
Gents throwing at the wicket paid a first prize of ten shillings - entry fee for this event was one shilling.
The horse races included a maiden hack race, pony race, trial handicap, open pony race, open hack handicap and the Freestone handicap.
To finish off the day in fine style, a Grand Ball was held that night in the Wheat Board Grain Shed.
The hall has also been the venue for different sports was well. Some of these were boxing, wrestling and keep fit classes.
Sports were played on the sports grounds at Peters’ property. District schools would travel to compete here. See the copy of the 1959 eighth annual Athletic Sports programme.
Cricket was also keenly contested with home matches being played on a pitch near the creek in what is now Jean Booth’s grass paddock. Cricket matches were played against other district teams and the cricketers would travel to these in similar fashion to the footballers and vigaro ladies.
(Left - Syd Ross, Bill Ross, Bill Palmer)
Indoor bowls has been a popular pastime at Freestone since 1961. The school teacher at that time, Keith Robinson, called a meeting to discuss the forming of a bowls club on the 4th September 1961. Eighteen people attended this meeting and the official opening of the Freestone Bowls Club was held on the 26th September 1961. Membership for the first year was thirty. Councillor W Palmer opened the club by putting the first bowl down the mat.
Over the years the club has played at various places including Clifton, Nobby, Victoria Hill and in the Warwick Competitions.
In 1971 LW & MA Kadow presented a trophy to the club, to be presented annually, with points being awarded from a monthly competition. The first winner of this shield was George Allen, and is currently held by Jerry Godbold.
The Drysdale family also presented the BP - Drysdale Shield to the Freestone Club in 1973. This was to be for an inter club competition - teams of six and played for annually. This competition was played for until 1979. Plans are being made to have this shield included in future competitions.
The original office bearers in 1961 were -
President Keith Robinson
Secretary Martin Mulkerin
Treasurer Norm Madsen
Vice Presidents Norm Madsen and Bob Mauch.
Patrons for the club have been -
1961 - 1982 Bill Palmer
1982 - 1987 George Allen
1982 - Les Kadow.
The office bearers for 1988 were -
President Mel Kadow
Secretary Vern Reid
Treasurer Peg Lyons
Captain Jim Crothers
Vice Presidents Jim Crothers and Ron Shelley
Current membership stands at 21 with 18 members playing. They are always on the lookout for new members. The club plays each Tuesday night at the Freestone Memorial Hall.
The following are a couple of interesting stories from the bowls club as recounted by Mel Kadow.
A favourite expression of Keith Robinson’s was "I’m going to have a ping", meaning he was going to drive the bowl to break up the head. When Keith was going to do this, he would announce in a loud voice, "I’m going to have a ping". With that, everyone would clear the area, even standing on the seats. The club still owns a cracked bowl, the result of one of Keith’s pings.
On another occasion, the club was playing in a shield game at Victoria Hill. It rained and was very wet indeed. The club had to abandon plans to get home and spent the night at the Clifton Hotel.