Those of us of a certain vintage would remember well the old Four 'n' Twenty pies commercial with greats such as Jack 'Captain Blood' Dyer and Ted 'Mr Football' Whitten. It is a rollicking tune with a group of footballers on a bus. On the way back from Kukerin while watching the 1979 premiership DVD, Bob Lowrie must have looked around the bus we were travelling in and had some flashbacks to this great old ad. So an idea was born and the 'Spirit of Carlton' singers belted out their own rendition of the ad on a stop somewhere between Wagin and Dumbleyung.
Senior statesman of the group Ken Kleiman took up the Jack Dyer role with gusto and Geoff Southby and David McKay provided great leadership in the singalong. If any Four 'n' Twenty executives read this article and wish to use the Spirit of Carlton singers for any future advertisements just get your people to talk to our people.
During the recent road trip by the Spirit of Carlton to Kukerin in West Australia three past Blue champions gave their own personal accounts of their own issues with men's health. Ross Ditchburn, Ken Hunter and Geoff Southby each provide honest, heartfelt and humorous account of issues surrounding depression and prostate cancer. Recommended viewing for anyone currently effected by these issues.
Legends abound around our great brown land about the country kid who 'could kick a bag of spuds over a wheat silo'. This folklore is ingrained, it is a part of who we are and is a unique aspect of the Aussie rules dominated parts of the country, in particular the wheat belts.
Every year the Royal Hotel at Mirrool holds a competition to see who can kick a footy over the local wheat silo. This was won famously by Billy Brownless in 1987.
So it was little wonder that when looking out of the Kukerin pub at the goliath that is the 80,000 ton capacity Kukerin wheat bin, an idea crossed the minds of the tired, parched and bedraggled Spirit of Carlton boys.
"Can we kick a footy over that?"
So it was with a spirit of adventure that Ken Hunter and Richard Dennis trecked across the road the next day. Hamstrings were stretched for fear of breaking, the locally procured Burley ball was tested for proper inflation and shape. A strong cross breeze was coursing across the flat dry wheat fields.
This was no small task, Richard had not kicked a full sized footy for at least two years, Ken wanted the glory but not an injury.
... to prove champions never die wondering both men succeeded in defeating the Kukerin Wheat Bin, Richard with a flat punt and Ken with a lovely left footer.
So the challenge is now out there, for the boys of Kukerin, to become a man the Kukerin Wheat Bin must be cleared. In fact people Australia wide should flock to Kukerin to take on the challenge and video tape it for prosperity. Can you kick a footy over the Kukerin wheat bin?
On the 19th of November in Kukerin, West Australia Wheatbelt Men's Health community educator Owen Catto gave a talk about how important it was for men in rural communities to take take issues regarding their health seriously. The Spirit of Carlton recorded the talk and present it here. If you have a mate you think might benefit from this message pass it on to him.
When you think of the Carlton Football Club, the small township of Kukerin, 300 kms southeast of Perth in the vast West Australian wheat belt does not come to mind. Yet, it is from this remote area of Australia that Ross Ditchburn was born and bred, a classic country superboot who travelled across the country to become a premiership player for the Blues in 1982.
When the Spirit of Carlton learnt about Ross' recent battle with prostate cancer and Ross' determination to spread the message of mens health awareness throughout rural communities the idea of a mens health weekend supported by the Spirit of Carlton was born. Keep returning over coming days for further details from this marathon footy trip across the country to support a very good cause.
In the meantime enjoy a pictorial summary of the trip from Spirit of Carlton TV on youtube.