Page 1037 - Week 03 - Thursday, 26 February 2009

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the establishment of the Canberra District Rugby League. He is of course remembered as one of the driving forces behind the entry of the Canberra team into the New South Wales Rugby League. It really was a coup at the time when the Raiders scored the 14th spot in the New South Wales Rugby League.

It has been reported that the New South Wales Rugby League was sceptical about whether a small regional centre would be able to match it with the big boys. For a while, it seemed that their scepticism may have been well founded. When the Raiders first took the field, they reported a series of large losses. This did not deter the club. By 1987, the Raiders made their first appearance in the grand final. Two years later, they took the premiership flag. I think all of us remember the city pride in 1989 when the Raiders got over the line in that classic grand final against Balmain. I am sure that Les had a moment of well-deserved vindication for his faith in his town and in his club.

Even though the club started in Queanbeyan and Les is associated with that town, the Raiders have since been a vehicle to show that Canberra is more than just a town with only one face. I am glad that the name “Raiders” was chosen. I am not sure that one of the original suggested names, “Senators”, would have combated the stereotypes of Canberra politicians in the way that the “green machine” has been able to do. In some ways, the Raiders’ story can be seen as a metaphor for the development of our town, a town that was a rank outsider that overcame obstacles to find success on the bigger stage, just as our fledgling team did in the 1980s and 1990s and beyond; a town that has been dealt adversity, yet overcame it and built to bigger and better things—just as the Raiders moved from Seiffert Oval in Queanbeyan to Canberra Stadium, or Bruce Stadium as it was at the time. The team has helped develop a pride and sense of place and identity in Canberra, as we have grown as a city and a region. For that, Les McIntyre deserves his due.

Les was awarded an OAM for his services to the sport. He has been inducted into the sporting hall of fame for both Queanbeyan and Canberra and was a life member of both the Raiders and the New South Wales Rugby League. We respect the passion and commitment Les brought to his chosen sport and to his community. He made a significant contribution to the sporting success and cultural development of our city. He has had a significant impact on our community that reaches beyond the boundaries of the sporting field.

To his wife Elsie and his family, to his friends and colleagues, we offer our deepest condolences.

MS BRESNAN (Brindabella): On behalf of the Greens, I would also like to support this condolence motion today.

Les McIntyre was a key figure in Rugby League, not only here in the ACT but nationally. That is demonstrated today by the list of key Rugby League figures who are attending his funeral today. Mr McIntyre was the driving force behind the establishment of the Canberra Raiders, a team which very much changed how others view Canberra. I would like to quote from an article by Crispin Hull, looking at Canberra from 1983 to 1993, in which he notes that Canberra very much established

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