Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Diggera[euro][TM]s Life of Service Makes Him a City Legend; Charles a[euro][approximately]Diggera[euro][TM] Murphy Is Revered for a Lifetime of Achievement, Writes JAY BUCHAN

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Diggera[euro][TM]s Life of Service Makes Him a City Legend; Charles a[euro][approximately]Diggera[euro][TM] Murphy Is Revered for a Lifetime of Achievement, Writes JAY BUCHAN

Article excerpt

WHEN Ipswich Rugby League Old Boys gathered at the North Ipswich Reserve to mark the groundas 50th birthday on April 6, one man had pride of place.

It was not because he was the best player a he never represented Queensland or Australia, as several there had, nor even Ipswich.

Charles aDiggera Murphy is revered because of a lifetimeas achievement and a contribution to sport in Ipswich most could not even come close to matching.

He has been known by everyone, bar his grandfather who shared the name Charles, as Digger since he could speak.

Because the first intelligible word he uttered as an infant was adigger,a after the returned First World War soldiers seen in Ipswich at the time he first learned to speak.

Digger proudly declares himself a aBundamba Boya, though he has strayed as far as Booval and East Ipswich, where he has resided for more than 50 years, during his

lifetime.

His house went under water, up to ceiling in 1974, and about a metre above the floorboards in the 2011 flood.

Digger enjoyed the reunion at the Reserve but lamented the fact none of his old team-mates were there.

Heas outlasted them all.

Fortunately, there is one person, more important than anyone else in his life, who has stuck around to keep him company and share his long memories.

Wife Joyce, 91, still gets along to the bowls club for bingo while Digger plays golf, off a handicap of 32.

aI donat know what Iad do,a he says of the thought of life without golf, and Joyce.

His clubs lie in the back of the 1975 brown Kingswood station wagon he still drives, which sits in his car port. While his handicap may be on the decline as he gets older, Digger believes heas still learning about the game.

aI suppose you do actually,a he said. aBut not for the better I tell you.a

The highlight of his rugby league playing career was reaching the 1943 grand final, in which Swifts lost to RAAF 19-2.

aIpswich league that year was played on the old hockey ground on the corner of Jacaranda St and Chermside Rd (East Ipswich) because the army had taken over the Reserve,a Digger said. aThe RAAF decided they were going to win so they flew the best players from all over Australia in for that grand final.a

Diggeras retirement from rugby league followed soon after but not his involvement in sport.

He was a keen swimmer and swimming would remain a passion a as a competitor, administrator and parent for most of his life.

He began with the Booval Swimming Club, before joining Vikings Swimming Club in 1937.

The pool they swam in was located where the southern abutment of the David Trumpy Bridge is now.

aWe had to get a new pool,a Digger said of the building of the bridge.

aThe Ipswich Swimming association did all sorts of functions to raise funds and eventually they got the new pool on Griffith Rd (Queens Park). …

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