A Country Copper
One Friday night in 1966, Kim and Bill hitch-hiked to the Bogong Hotel at Tawonga, that was about 4 miles out of Mt Beauty. We were under-age at 17 and were having a few beers out on the front saloon verandah.
Suddenly, constable Clyde Smith walked into the pub, saw us and said, "You two, out!” We promptly obeyed. When out in the car park, he demanded to know who brought us to the pub. Of course we would not tell him. He appeared annoyed and said, “In the bloody car, I’m taking you two home!” Of course we thought Karl, the pub owner, would be fined and we would be charged with under-age drinking. We were petrified.
When we got in the car, Clive retorted, “ You know the bloody rules, no drinking the night before a footy match. If I told the coach, you would be out.” He later said, “ If this effects your play tomorrow, I'll kick your arse.”
You see, it had nothing to do with the under-age drinking. It was all about the footy and we did get our arses kicked by coach Billy Moorman after the thrashing on that day. We never knew if it was for drinking at the pub or for not playing well enough. We just sort of accepted it.
The joys of country life and having a great policeman in town, whom we played football and cricket with and we totally respected.
Footnote: Kim called in to see Clyde at his home in Wodonga in early January, 2014. He and Marge were so happy to chat. They are doing well and Clyde is hitting 87. In conversation, I was amazed that he remembered my young playing days as he said, "Kimmy, did you ever get to play cricket for Australia?" Clyde was one of the most successful and admired cricket captains at Mt Beauty.