Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Vale: Max Godbee; Colleagues, Community Recall a Sports Legend and Guru

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Vale: Max Godbee; Colleagues, Community Recall a Sports Legend and Guru

Article excerpt

Byline: Tim Howard tim.howard@dailyexaminer.com.au

FORMER Daily Examiner sports editor Max Godbee, who died this week aged 86, was sport in the Clarence Valley for generations of athletes growing up in the region.

Max was a talented athlete and as his career wound down covered the sports beat of the town from the early 1970s.

His sports career in surf lifesaving enjoyed an Indian Summer with Masters competition.

Always a talented runner, Max found himself a Masters title-holder 10 times, mostly in beach sprint events, until his retirement from competition after the 2002 SLS World Titles in Florida.

He and his wife Lauretta, who began working at the paper in the 1950s, formed a rock-solid partnership, with Lauretta guiding the newsroom as chief of staff and Max heading up sports coverage.

Max made quite an impression on Joan Nelson when she began working part-time at the paper as the editor's secretary to John Moorehead, in 1970 when The Daily Examiner was in King St, Grafton.

"Max was at the paper all the time I was there," Mrs Nelson said. "I can remember making cups of coffee for him.

"He used to make coffee for himself, but he was always leaving the jug on. He was a real devil for that. I was worried he would electrocute himself, so I made coffees for him."

After she left The Daily Examiner, Mrs Nelson became the bowls correspondent for the Grafton Women's Bowling Club, a role she kept for 23 years.

"I worked pretty closely with Max, he was just there all the time," she said. "He helped me learn what needed to be printed in the paper."

Max was also an inspiration to young journalists learning about the value of sport in their community.

Now a veteran journalist, Craig McTear was a cadet when he came to work at The Daily Examiner in 1989 and has many fond memories of working with Max.

"I often helped Max on the sports desk, whether it was typing up race results, covering rugby league matches or assisting with The Daily Examiner Sports Star," he said.

"Max loved his community and his sport, particularly horse racing, rugby league and surf lifesaving, and what he didn't know about sport wasn't worth knowing. …

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