The Early Days

The start of the story - the formation of the Teachers Team

The Early Days

The Townsville Teachers Training College opened for business in 1969. Jim Gannon who worked in the science laboratories as a young technician recalled, “This was the inaugural year of the Townsville Teachers College. There was no time to organise teams in local competitions as student intakes and sporting talents were unclear. Those students wishing to pursue their sporting interests were invited to join local sports clubs throughout Townsville.

For rugby players that usually meant University Rugby League or Union Clubs.”

John Roots recalls those early days, “In those days, there was not a great TV coverage in North Queensland, so Rugby Union was not as well-known as it is today.
Rugby League was very strong in the North and quite a few of the young teachers were playing League with University. When asked whether we would like to play Union for University, a few players gave it a go. In that year, 1969, University won the Townsville and District Premiership - among those who played were, Chris Hannam, John Roots, and Bruce Kennon (then a blonde headed winger).

In 1970, Chris Hannam had the idea, that with support of Ian Wren, the Registrar at Teachers College, we would have a good chance of forming a Teachers Team. When it happened Chris continued to play with University.

Ian Wren and Keith Sargent, who was also a member of the administration team, canvassed the support from the College hierarchy, Ross McKee, the College Principal and John Armstrong, his 2.I.C, with the result that a meeting was called- I think midway through 1970- the inaugural Teachers Rugby Committee was formed with John Roots as President, and Jim Gannon (who was Lab assistant) as Secretary/Treasurer.”