A dedicated follower of the Doggies

Seeing a growing area that would be welcoming to their young family, Robert Laidlaw’s parents decided to move to Elizabeth from Sefton Park in 1964. This was the year the Central Districts Football Club entered a senior team into the South Australian National Football League. As his Dad was a boot sprigger at the club, Robert became an instant follower of the team known as the Bulldogs.

Robert has always had an amazing head for sporting statistics. As a kid his brother would test him. He knew all the stats for the SANFL, the VFL as well as all the local baseball games. This led him to writing baseball stories for the local Messenger press and, later, becoming a professional sports writer as well as the official historian at Centrals. He co-authored, along with past club great Robin Mulholland, the book Poms to Premiers, which celebrated 50 years of the Central Districts Football Club.

Robert speaks fondly of growing up in Elizabeth. He believes he is a community- minded person, which comes from being brought up there. It’s this community mindedness that inspires Robert to give so much to the club he loves. He still feels it is something special to go and see the Doggies play at Elizabeth Oval.

Having only missed 5 Centrals home and away games since 1993 speaks of Robert’s dedication to the club. He can recite each one of these games, when it was, who the Doggies were playing, who won and why he had to miss them.

In the year 2000 when Centrals won the second semi final, Robert was in Sydney writing about baseball for the Olympics. This did not deter him from missing the Grand Final however. He booked flights back to Adelaide to be at the big game full of confidence that the Doggies would win their first flag.

After the win, Robert was dragged into the players huddle on the ground to sing the club song. He said that moment gave meaning to him being from Elizabeth and a Centrals supporter. To be on the ground and experience that joyous moment he was washed over with emotion that they’d finally done it.

Robert Laidlaw

 

A Holden Man

Gary has worked at Holden for 35 years. He talks with pride about his work there and the good friends he has made. The job has provided him and his family with a comfortable lifestyle, for which he is grateful. He just wishes he could have seen out his career to retirement at Holden.

Holden will close its Elizabeth operations on October 20 this year. Although gutted by the announcement, Gary says he felt some relief as this put an end to all the rumours and innuendo at work about when the closure will come . Now, he says, they can get on with the job of making cars.

As for the future, like many Holden employees, Gary is uncertain. He thinks the realisation of his situation won’t really hit until it is all over.

In the meantime, he has taken advantage of Holden’s Transition Centre to do computer courses. He has also recently undertaken studies in landscape gardening, something he has a passion for and, if his own garden is anything to go by, quite some skill.

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Kris Grant

In the 40 years that the affable Kris Grant has been CEO of the Central Districts Football Club, he has witnessed many changes, not just at the club, but also in the community of Elizabeth in which, he believes, Central Districts plays an important role.

The closure, in October 2017, of Holden in Elizabeth causes Kris concern for both the club and the local region. However, he is pleased that Holden will continue with its sponsorship of the club having recently committed to another five years of support.

Kris stated that there will always be a Central District Football Club and he is proud that it will continue, as best as it can, to represent, and bring pride to, the people of Elizabeth.

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Kris with the club’s trophy cabinet which, until the year 2000, was bereft of Premiership Cups. It now contains nine!

Drivin’ around

While visiting people in Elizabeth I’ll usually drive around looking out for things of interest to photograph.

20170215_e-algra_0205-copyWork continues on the Playford City Tennis Centre. This is part of the development of the Playford City Sports Precinct.

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A recent conversation about drive-ins prompted me to visit the site of the local Shandon ‘Starline’. Nothing much there to indicate what was once a very popular destination on a Friday or Saturday night. All the usual drive-in stories applied here! The one recognition on this spot is the street name which is, ironically, a Drive.

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I managed to take another photo for my ‘Let’s go shopping’ series.

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And also one for my ‘Take A Seat’ series.

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The East ‘Top’ shops for sale.

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The old Quarry. Site of many adventures (and misadventures) for us as kids.

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Ben at his Davoren Park fish and chip shop.