Saturday, November 5, 2016


A  pleasant surprise   for  Little Darwin   was  a visit  from  Mrs    Yvonne Carlos , wife of  the  late Australian boxing  champion , Max Carlos,  who called in  on  a  trip  back to Magnetic Island   from Melbourne,  with  the  above  interesting  , well  illustrated book, about the  champions in  many  fields  in the  Shepparton  District  .  She  supplied   it  with  memories  of her involvement in   Highland  Dancing competitions which contains a photograph of  her  , aged   14, maiden name  Yvonne Jones,  in full  regalia , holding a sword, in  1954.   

Mrs  Carlos  , who danced for a decade  , even gave us a  demonstration of the various  national  dances in which she competed , including  the Sailor's Hornpipe ,  showing  how  she  hauled  away on  the  ropes .

She wrote that  the Goulburn  Valley Highland National   Dancing Association  conducted the competitions  in  which  a  bagpiper from the  Shepparton  Pipe Band played  all day , his cheeks  becoming very rosy , rewarded between breaks with  a  cold  beer.   Doing  a  sword dance  on  the  back of  a  narrow truck , she  explained , was  very difficult . By  taking part in a number of dances, which required  a   quick change  of  costume, it  could result  in winnings of  thirty shillings ( $3) , if you  were  lucky, enough to buy a pair of shoes in those days .

Naturally , there  is much coverage, with associated  photographs , of   Max  Carlos  and  his  boxing career, details of which were run previously in this blog including the fact that  he had  collapsed on  Magnetic Island  with a brain tumour  after  a winning  night playing blackjack  at the Townsville casino  and died  in a nursing home on May 12, 1996  ;   all  his  brothers were   good boxers .  The   Palm  Island , Queensland ,   born   boxer  , George   Bracken ,  won the  Australian  lightweight title  in 1955, Carlos  took  it  from him 1958 in  an epic battle in   the Festival Hall , Melbourne, and  is  featured  in  the  pictorial   content . 

The   book , which gives an unusual and extensive  insight into the sporting and social activities  covers  football, cricket, boxing , cycling , athletics , hockey, croquet , basketball, badminton, horse racing , motorbike racing , sailing, golf, tennis , softball,  bowls, greyhound racing , marching girls , bands , vigoro  and swimming . Square  dancing  also  gets a   mention .

There is a section dealing  with Douglas Nicholls ,  in younger days   a top  sprinter  and   Fitzroy  footballer ,  Australia's  first  Aboriginal pastor , knighted and  made   Governor of  South  Australia .