Alf Scott awarded posthumous OAM

THE late Alf Scott was known in Moree as Mr Rugby League.

But he was much, much more than that.

And now his community spirit – especially his spirit – continues to glow ever so brightly.

Mr Scott, 94, was on Sunday posthumously named in the Queen’s Birthday Honour List with a Medal of the Order of Australia (General Division) for his tireless charity work and community service in Moree for more than 70 years.

Daughter Sue Stafa said her father was aware he had been nominated for the award prior to his death on May 2.

“Dad knew he had been nominated and was chuffed that someone did this for him. He so deserves the recognition for everything he was involved with in Moree and what he has done for the town over many years,” Ms Stafa said. 

“My brother Richard and his wife Rhonda, my children Adam and Tanya, and myself, are really proud that dad was honoured in this way . . . we only wish he had lived long enough to receive it.

“Dad was always ready to go out and do whatever was needed to be done for the community and was always supported in whatever he did by his wife Beryl, who passed away in 1989,” she said.

Mr Scott was born in Moree on July 24, 1924 and, apart from four years in the army and serving in Borneo during World War II, remained a loyal servant to the town for his entire life.

His greatest love was rugby league, but his deep-seated involvement in many community groups and organisations stretched for decades.

Alf Scott in Moree in 2018 with his beloved HR Holden, a car he bought new in 1967. Mr Scott was posthumously named in the Queen’s Birthday Honour List for his tireless charity work and community service in Moree for more than 70 years (Image: Bill Poulos).

He was a member of Moree Amateur Swimming Club from the age of eight and would go on to serve as a committeeman, vice-president and president.

Mr Scott was afforded club life membership in 1960 and helped raise considerable funds to build a clubhouse.

He was publicity officer and newspaper columnist for Moree Diggers’ Swimming Club and served for 50 years as a steward for Moree Greyhound Racing Club, later becoming a life member.

At one stage he was the oldest active greyhound racing steward in Australia.

“Dad was a member of Moree Neighbourhood Watch for its entire existence and was also the inaugural president of East Moree Primary School P&C, of which he was given life membership,” Ms Stafa said.

Mr Scott joined the Moree Cancer Support Group in 1989 after his wife Beryl was taken by the disease.

He served on the group’s committee and was made secretary-treasurer in the late 1990s, and was still a member up until his death.

“Being involved with the cancer support group was one of dad’s proudest achievements,” Ms Stafa said.

“This group has been responsible for the introduction of two palliative care wards, a family room, and equipment that can be loaned out to community members in need.”

After World War II Alf joined Moree East Football Club and later became entrenched with Moree Rugby League Club – the Moree Boars – for the remainder of his life.

Over the years he served as secretary-treasurer, time-keeper and publicity officer.

From 1955 until last year, Mr Scott kept meticulous hand-written club records and match statistics, which he archived.

“Dad had an encyclopaedic memory of all Moree games and donated these records to Moree and District Historical Society,” Ms Stafa said.

In 1973 Mr Scott was made a life member and patron of Moree Rugby League Club and later a life member of Group 4 Rugby League.

In 2016, Moree Boars unveiled the Alf Scott Medal, an annual award that recognises individuals responsible for the growth, prosperity and success of the club.

“I was very emotional the night I found out that there was an award named after me,” Alf said in a feature article just prior to Moree Boars’ centenary celebrations in 2018.

“It can be awarded to anyone associated with the club; it could be a player, an official, a coach, a committee member or anybody that has done great things for the Moree Boars.

“Honestly, I’m humbled by it,” he said.

Mr Scott received the Mayoral Community Service Award in 1994 as well as the Moree Plains Shire Council Citizenship Award in 1998.

In 2002 he received a special Mayoral Award for more than 50 years’ continuous support of business in Moree after working in the menswear department of Assef’s clothing store for 57 years.

Fellow OAM recipient Reg Jamieson said he was proud to be honoured alongside Mr Scott.

“It is just so sad that Alf could not be here to accept the award,” Mr Jamieson said.

“Alf was a staunch supporter and elder statesman of Moree rugby league. His involvement started more than 50 years ago and culminated in the most comprehensive stats record of Moree players and officials since records began.

“l attended the laying of Alf’s ashes and it was a very moving ceremony.

“Alf’s posthumous OAM is well-deserved. He was a Moree giant and quiet achiever, and also a devoted Moree RSL Sub-Branch member.

“Alf is sadly missed by a very grateful Moree community,” Mr Jamieson said.

Words and Image: Bill Poulos

Related article

MOREE community stalwart and all-round good bloke Reg Jamieson has been recognised on the Queen’s Birthday honour list – an accolade he cherishes but says is bittersweet.

Mr Jamieson was on Sunday gonged with a Medal of the Order of Australia (General Division) for his tireless work in the Moree community.

But, sadly, the man that lodged the nomination is not here to celebrate with Mr Jamieson.

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