When a new life member lives a retired life in Coffs Harbour it can be a logistical nightmare to get all of the parties in the one place at the same time to formalise the presenting of the certificate.
So it was opportune when Brian found himself and his wife Trish in Melbourne on Wednesday, visiting family and we were hosting the Bill Terrill christmas luncheon at the Queensberry Hotel.
Brian still has connections “to the greatest game in the world,” that he is still so passionate about. He is still involved in the Masters Australian Football (Super rules) on a voluntary basis after being President of the National competition for 5 years until 2000 and continued to umpire in until 2003.
Brian fulfilled may roles in football and umpiring from 1956 when he played for Brighton 4ths until he finished as umpires advisor for the ACTAFL in 1984.
When quizzed about some of his memories of his time on the VFL panel, his first and last VFL reserves games came to mind. “My first game in the VFL reserves was in 1969. My good friend Graeme Huggins was umpiring the seniors and I had the reserves. It comes to mind because it was Sam Keckovich’s first game for Nth Melbourne. The second memory was my last VFL reserve game, I got such a bad report I looked at it and said to myself, I’m out of here and went to the VFA.”
Brian umpired on the VFL list between 1967 and 1970. He was on the social committee between 1969 and 1970. He umpired 19 VFL reserve matches and 62 VCFL games. Brian became an associate member in 2006 and qualified for life membership in 2012.
Still very active and young at heart, Brian recounted a story to the group about trying to buy a car from Bill Terrill that had the group in stitches. As the story goes, Rod Tanner and Brian got a better deal down the road at Ford and so took their business elsewhere!
Congratulations Brian on being presented with your life member certificate.
Pictured: Life Member Brian Stirling, and AFLUA CEO – Peter Howe