Page 1036 - Week 03 - Thursday, 26 February 2009

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canvas on the bowling green and saw it again as Les battled to get the Raiders accepted into the New South Wales Rugby League competition. In 1982 he succeeded.

Les’s early years defined him. He was born in Cooma, one of six children of John, who ran a travelling sideshow, and Mary, from the old Wallace family of Jindabyne. The family moved to Queanbeyan when young Les was nine. At 13, Les left school to begin an apprenticeship as a mechanic. He held down second and third jobs delivering newspapers and working as an assistant projectionist at the Star theatre. It was this capacity for hard work, for making do, that saw him pan for gold and fish his way through the Great Depression. In subsequent years, he worked as a truck driver, a bus driver and a bookmaker.

Les met the woman who would become his wife, Elsie, at a dance. They married in 1940. The couple had two sons—John, who is the current chairman of the Raiders; and Kerry, who, sadly, died in 1991. Les was also grandfather to five and a great-grandfather of nine. And for thousands of Canberrans and people throughout the region, he is also the father of Rugby League and the creator of the “green machine”. He was chairman of the club in its formative years and put in place the structure for a successful dynasty that has delivered three premierships.

The success of the Canberra Raiders and their contribution to the rich heart and soul of our city is about more than just football. Having our own team in the national league draws Canberrans together, gives us a common cause to rejoice or lament, creates opportunities to witness world-class sport live in our own city and cements our reputation as the sports capital of the nation.

Les was a life member of the Raiders, the New South Wales Rugby League and the New South Wales Country Rugby League and a member of the ACT Sport Hall of Fame. Les McIntyre made a great and varied contribution to Canberra and the region, a contribution that will be recalled and honoured for decades to come and which we join in commemorating today. I offer my deepest condolences to Mr McIntyre’s family and friends.

MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition): I would like to join with the government and Ms Gallagher in supporting this condolence motion today. On behalf of the Canberra Liberals, I express our condolences to the family and friends of Les McIntyre.

Even those who did not know Les personally would have been aware of his work as a founding father of the Raiders Rugby League Club and supporter of local sport who has touched our community and inspired many people across all walks of life. Although this is a sad day, Les had a very full life and has left a legacy we can all respect. Les’s support for the game he loved was strong and consistent throughout his life. The same could be said for Les McIntyre himself. He had a reputation of being a tough, old-school negotiator—a passionate, committed advocate but a strong supporter of the local game.

He started as a supporter of the game in Queanbeyan, helping to form the Queanbeyan Leagues Club in 1963, developing the Queanbeyan Blues as a club and moving on to

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