If Trevor Hatch is anything, it is succinct.
In describing his role as chairman of a committee formed to organise the centenary celebration of rugby league in Manilla, he said: “We’d want to get this one right, because we won’t be around for the next one.”
Luckily, Hatch does not appear to have too much to worry about.
The website established to mark the event, complete with an Olympics-style countdown clock, is impressive, as is the list of VIPs who will attend the associated gala dinner at Manilla Town Hall on July 8.
They include former league international and ARL boss John Quayle, a Manilla product, ex-league international John Peard, another former international Neville Glover and famed TV sports personality Ken Sutcliffe.
And given the event is only being celebrated because the late, great Dally Messenger started rugby league in Manilla when he took over the Royal Hotel in the town in 1917, it is appropriate that he will be represented at the event by his two grandsons, Dally and Ken.
It was the only club formed by The Master, as dual international Messenger was known, although his stay in Manilla was brief.
His wife, Annie, died in 1918 after contracting pneumonic influenza during the flu pandemic that killed an estimated 500 million people.
Dally and his four-year-old son left Manilla and returned to Sydney the following year.
Hatch’s six-member committee was formed in February.
For the committee members, it is a labour of love.
Hatch was born in Manilla and played first grade for the Tigers, including in their narrow loss to Tamworth City in the 1971 semi-final.
He left town for work before eventually returning.
Now retired, he said of his committee: “We’re all locals and we all have, or have had, an association with the Tigers.
“It’s good that we can put something together that everyone appreciates,” he added.
“From what I’ve heard, we’re getting blokes (attending the gala dinner) from well back before I played – blokes in their 80s are coming along, as well as players of today.”
The centenary celebration includes an evening meet and greet at Manilla Services Club on July 7.
That will be followed by Manilla’s Group 4 second division clash against Bendemeer at the showground on July 8. Tickets for the dinner are $55 per head. For more information go to manilla100yearsofleague.com.au or contact Kerri Goman on 0412 180 425 or Hatch 0429 479 788.