Mission Statement

Brisbane Brothers Junior Rugby League Football Club

MISSION - OBJECTIVES - VALUES - HISTORY

Objectives

  • Mission Statement

    At Brothers JRLFC, the mission is to foster a safe environment that Brothers  Jnrs RLFC  Leprechaun  Logopromotes and encourages all participants to play and enjoy Rugby League.  
  • To promote and develop the game of Rugby League within the community so as to encourage optimum participation and enjoyment at every level.
  • Actively market and advertise our club and the sport of Rugby League in a positive manner within the community.
  • Increase player, coach, administrator and volunteer numbers.
  • Implement sound financial planning.
  • To be commercially and financially viable at all times.
  • To maintain the highest possible standards catering for all player needs.
  • To provide an appropriate culture that offers club participation, opportunity, family fun, relaxation and entertainment for all.
  • Enhance coach and player development.
  • Deliver a high quality service and provide support structures to parents, players, coaches and helpers by a vibrant highly motivated committee.
  • To provide the best opportunities for our players, coaches, administrators and support staff.

Values

  • Innovative: Be contemporary, pioneering and inventive- at the cutting edge of achievement.
  • Passion: Possess enthusiasm, energy and self-belief.
  • Inspiration: Motivate and encourage others to participate.
  • Community Partnerships: Form community partnerships and participate positively to effectively achieve club objectives.
  • Integrity: Operate with sincerity and fairness to all.

History

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Brothers first fielded teams in the Brisbane Junior Rugby League competition in 1935 and the Junior Club was formed in 1945 to administer and foster junior teams in the Past Brothers Club

Brothers Juniors owes a great deal to a number of families who have dedicated their energies to ensure the Club has remained viable and strong for many years i.e the Donaldsons, Hickeys, McGraws and Munros just to name a few.

The Juniors have produced the following Queensland players: Reg Cannon, Wayne Abdy, Barry Dowling, Len Dittmar, Robert Grogan, Bob Cock, David Wright, Peter Gallagher and Noel Cavanagh.

Wright, Gallagher and Cavanagh also represented Australia with Gallagher having the honour of captaining his country against the Poms on a Kangaroo Tour.

NRL players Luke Williamson (Canberra and Manly), Ashley Harrison (Broncos, South Sydney and Easts) Shaun Valentine (ex Cowboys), David Shillington (Easts) are also products of Brothers Juniors. 

Recent history reveals a fairly nomadic existence where we have had several "Home Grounds" i.e.Corbett Park, Padua College, Hickey Park, Gibson Park, and Shawsportz, where we became foundation tenants in 1998.

A decision was taken at our AGM in 2005 based on sound business reasons to transfer our operations on a full time basis to Gibson Park where we have trained for the past thirty (30) years in order to establish a permanent home for our club and it is our objective to upgrade the facilities to a level that will see it become one of the better sporting arenas on Brisbane's north side. We have been successful in obtaining a grant from the   Brisbane City Councils Community Grants Program for the construction of a new toilet block and this will be the first of many projects that we have identified as part of our five-year plan, which is currently being developed.  

Our player numbers have increased in the past two years and that can be attributed to the fact that we have now established a permanent home at Gibson Park which gives the Club some stability and our members see that there is a potential for expansion in a friendly and family orientated atmosphere. We have produced a number of representative players on a regular basis and we pride ourselves on the fact that we do provide an opportunity for participation for all levels of the community and in cases of hardship every possible assistance is provided.       

In Season 2007 we had 287 junior players, the most since 1994, in grades from Under 7 to Under 16. Fifty four players have played in excess of 100 games for the club with three having played in excess of 200 games Of the ten teams eligible for finals all qualified with three going on to the Grand Final winning two premierships with our two Under 11 teams and the second Under 14 side runners up. Five teams made the mid season Chairman's Trophy final with success with U11 Div 2, Under 14 Div 2 and Under 16 Div 1.

With the demise of our senior club (Brothers Valleys) in 2004 and therefore the loss of the association with the St.George Illawarra Dragons was seen as huge setback for our club in relation to coaching and development assistance programs put in place.

It became apparent that in order to protect our current player numbers that we needed to form another link with a senior club as quickly as possible. With that in mind we made an approach to North's in 2005 who had an affiliation with the Melbourne Storm and all Junior clubs in our proximity were part of their program known as the Northern Storm Development. This association has now ceased, however Norths have negotiated a new package with the highly successful Broncos Club and a new program known as Northern Broncos Development Program is know in place.

It is expected this association will only strengthen which will assist in the retention of our current crop of talented players and provide the necessary pathway for them to progress to the elite level should they so desire and dampen the thought that to succeed they need to move on to other clubs to fulfill those desires.

We celebrated our 70th Anniversary in 2005 and we are proud of the history and tradition that has been created by our predecessors and trust that will continue as our past,  present and future  players continue to proudly don the famous Blue and White butcher stripes.   

The Brothers Story

This document has been produced with the intention of providing a clearer picture in relation to the formation of the Brothers Club.

Is has been dissected into three parts namely:

Background and History which covers the formation of the Brothers Club, the introduction of Junior Teams, establishing a Junior Committee, the fluctuating fortunes of the Senior Club and Leagues Club and finally the demise of both bodies.

The formation of the Junior Club and the impact the loss of Senior football had, striving to find a permanent home ground and the contributions of many Brothers families and Committees.

Football Operations covers the various affiliations the Club has had since the demise of the Senior Club to assist with Coaching and Development and also how and why Senior football was introduced to the Junior Club

BACKGROUND AND HISTORY

During the First World War the rugby union made the decision to go into recess in 1916 - rugby league did not. The folding of rugby union was the catalyst for mass affiliations with the QRL of rugby union clubs like Past Grammars and University, the formation of the Merthyr club in 1917 from Senior Christian Brothers Rugby Club players.

1919 saw Club Rugby resumed for one year and some former Brothers players who had joined Merthyr returned to rugby. Those who stayed linked with the Carlton Club which had been established to give junior Brothers rugby players a place to play during the war years.

In 1920 three Rugby Clubs Past Grammars, Uni and Past Christian Brothers switched codes to Rugby League.

In 1926 Brothers won their first Premiership as well as winning the Vic Jensen Shield and Pike Cup. The team photo was captioned ‘Christian Brothers Old Boys Football Club’

Past Brothers was founded in 1929 when former members of of the Brothers Old boys, Tom Gorman, Gerry Allman, Stan Ross and others decided to form a new Club to compete in the QRL Metropolitan competition

The Brothers Old Boys remained in the BRL Competition until 1929 before going back to Rugby in 1930 where upon the Past Brothers Club joined the BRL competition.

Since 1922 the BRL and QRL were at loggerheads to gain control of the Brisbane city games. In 1929 the BRL withdrew their affiliation with the QRL with the result being that the QRL ran a separate competition with four teams from Ipswich including Ipswich Past Brothers and two Brisbane teams Valleys and Brothers. One of the main points of conflict was that the QRL Secretary was well paid whilst players received no compensation for injuries.

Finally in 1930 peace was restored and Valleys and Brothers returned to the BRL and played in a separate knock out competition in the latter half of the season

To field a Senior team it was a requirement that each Club must have three sides i.e. A Grade , Reserve Grade and Third Grade. The Club was struggling to comply in 1933 when District football was introduced meaning that players had to reside in the Club’s defined district. The Past Brothers Club by their very nature defied the district concept, however proof had to be obtained that the players must have attended a Marist or Christian Brothers School, An approach was made to St Laurence’s and St Columban’s Schools for the older boys to play Senior and not Junior football. This enabled the Club to continue in the Competition and it created great interest with the result that in 1935 two Junior Teams were formed Under 16 and Under 18

The boys still attending school trained with their schools and those who had left the two colleges and also St James either trained with the club or privately. They only got together on game days and needless to say results were not outstanding in 1935/36 but the build up had commenced and in 1938 the club won the Under 18 Premiership.

It was not until after World War II in 1947 that is was decided to enter an Under 15 Team and then build annually until all Age Groups were catered for (Under 15 to Under 18). The Under 15 team won the Premiership in their first year and resulted in a string of Premierships over the next 3 years i.e. U16 in 1948, U17 in 1949 and U18 in 1950.

It was also in 1947 a Junior Committee was formed to administer the anticipated growth of Junior Teams at the club.

In 1938 the Club became known as Past Brothers Rugby League Football Club and all Senior and Junior Teams played under that banner. The Club was officially Incorporated and registered with the Office of Fair trading in 1984.This was a requirement introduced by the Queensland Government namely the Associations Incorporations Act 1981.

Over the ensuing years the Past Brothers Club and their teams became to be known as just ‘Brothers’ with many nicknames including ‘The Fighting Irish’, ‘The Leprechaun’s’, ‘The Brethren’, ‘The Fish’ or’ Fish eaters’ in reference to the Catholic Religion practice of not eating meat on Fridays during Lent, Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

The club’s home ground at the Grange was on the original site of Hickeys Dairy, which became Corbett Park in the early 1960’s. As well as Corbett Park other training venues were Ballymore and Gibson Park Corbett Park played host to Sydney Clubs for pre-season and end of season games including the St George Dragons, Easts, North Sydney and Canterbury Bankstown

Both the Senior and Junior teams continued to prosper during the 60’s and 70’s with numerous Premierships.

The Club owned at least three houses close to Corbett Park where a number of outstanding talents from regional areas of the state who were offered scholarships were housed, playing for the club whilst completing their studies or obtaining apprenticeships.

Brothers Seniors won the last ever official BRL Premiership in 1987 defeating Redcliffe in the Grand Final the year before the entry of the Brisbane Broncos in the NSW Rugby League in 1988. The club struck financial trouble and were forced out of their traditional home of Corbett Park by the administrators and temporarily moved to Brothers Rugby Union ground at Crosby Park. They then moved to Bray Park (now the home of Pine Central Holy Spirit) and played under the name of

of Pine Rivers Brothers. In 1998 they relocated to Crosby Park and became the feeder club for the Brisbane Broncos but closed at seasons end.

They did resurface in 2002 as Brothers/Valleys and played in the BRL A Grade and Colts competition playing out of Perry Park at Bowen Hills forming an affiliation with the Sydney Club the St George Dragons. . They were accepted into the Queensland Cup competition in 2004 and played out of O’Calligan Park at Zillmere . A new name and jersey was proposed for the following year but their application to compete was rejected by the QRL for its “inability to meet specified guidelines.”

That is the last time (2004)the Senior Club participated in any QRL/BRL Competition

A Grade Premierships: 1926,1935,1939,1942,1943,1956,1958,1967,1968,1987

Runners-up: 1940,1952,1954,1955,1957,1959,1964,1966,1974,1986)

2008 saw the celebration of 100 years of Rugby League in Queensland and Brothers along with other Clubs named their Team of the Century:

1. Mick Shannon, 2. Frank Melit, 3. Jack Reardon, 4. Tom Gorman, 5. Don Alroe,
6. John Gleeson, 7. Eric Gelling, 8. Peter Gallagher, 9. John Burke, 10. Brian Davies, 11. Noel Cavanagh, 12. Dennis Mantiet, 13. Wayne Abdy, 14. Barry Dowling,
15. Reg Cannon, 16. Graham Lena, 17. John Smith, 18. Eddie Brosnan (Snr)

The Past Brothers Leagues Club & Kindred Clubs

A licensed club was first established in the early 1960’s next to Corbett Park and continued to operate until the new Leagues Club was officially opened in 1971 overlooking the football fields with the entry in Agincourt St, Grange. It soon became one of the most popular venues in inner Brisbane for its discos on Thursday and Sunday nights. It also hosted featured guest artists on Saturday nights not only from the Brisbane area but from interstate and overseas as well. Sportsman’s Luncheons were held on a regular basis and guests included high profile sports persons and politicians. The Dairy Bar downstairs was a popular venue for players and their families and supporters for after match drinks on Sunday nights. Mid week ‘Brothers Big Bingo’ attracted huge crowds

Three successful kindred Clubs were formed for the benefit of members and supporters i.e. The Fishing Club, Golf Club and Touch Footy and all three are still in operation today.

The old licensed club continued to be used as a gym and on training nights because of its close proximity to the fields. The 1974 flood forced its eventual closure.

In 1987 the Club struck financial difficulties and closed its doors after the football club had won 1987 Brisbane Premierships in A Grade and Reserve Grade

In 1995 the South Queensland Crushers were admitted into the expanded ARL competition and the Club was renamed Crushers Leagues Club . The Crushers experiment only lasted three seasons and

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eventually the Leagues Club was utilised as offices for some QRL staff. In the ensuing years the two football fields became a housing estate

In later years the Leagues Club became privately owned and traded under the name of Brothers Grange Community Sports Club until it was sold for a housing development “41 The Grange” and ceased trading on Sunday 17th September 2017.

It was fitting that the last function held was on the 16th September 2017 for the Brothers JRLFC Senior Team’s trophy night after having won the Northside 1 Premiership a fortnight earlier.

JUNIOR CLUB FORMATION

When the Clubs financial woes became known in 1987/88 the Junior President at the time Tom Hickey and Treasurer Brenda Munro worked tirelessly to protect both the future and finances of the Junior Division and formed the Brothers Junior Rugby League Football Club which was eventually Incorporated with the Office of Fair Trading in June 1989.

Having been forced out of Corbett Park the club began a nomadic existence playing out of various locations e.g. Padua College, Hickey Park and Gibson Park

In 1995 with the expansion of the NRL the South Queensland Crushers were admitted into the national competition and they took over the running of the facilities at Corbett Park. Under the guidance of then President and current Life Member Tony Martyn a deal was struck with the Crushers administration to return to Corbett Park This was in spite of objections from the local community no doubt because of increased traffic etc. even though junior games were played there for many years prior to that.

That lasted three years and the Crushers folded leaving the Juniors looking for another venue. They were fortunate enough to be accepted in 1998 as foundation tenants at Shawsportz which was a joint venture between the Brisbane City Council and Kedron Wavell Services Club at Shaw Road at Wooloowin.

Despite having a signed Licence Agreement to operate out of Shawsportz they still trained at Gibson Park and in 2004 were forced to transfer home games to Gibson Park on one occasion. This required an extraordinary working bee by club volunteers to upgrade the canteen, toilets and dressing sheds to a respectable standard.

The income from that day made the committee at the time begin wondering if they could make Gibson Park their home ground in the future.

In 2005 they were advised of a new Business plan and licence fee structure being proposed for Shawsportz which would have an impact on the Clubs finances. So a sound business decision was taken at the 2005 AGM to relocate their operations full time to Gibson Park the following year.

Gibson Park is leased from the Brisbane City Council to a Gibson Park Trust which is administered by the Gibson Park committee, That committee consists of two delegates from each of the tenanted Club: Brothers Juniors RL, Stafford & District Cricket club and Padua College.

Since that time the committees of the day with the support of the GPC have worked tirelessly to upgrade the facilities with an electronic scoreboard, new and improved field lighting and field upgrades not to mention the ‘ not on the radar’ new clubhouse.

On Sunday 15th April 2012 the old canteen was completely destroyed by a fire from an electrical fault as well as damaging the rest of the building to an extent that it was condemned and demolished.

With the assistance of Patron Fiona King, the Brisbane City Council and volunteers fixtures were able to played the following weekend with temporary facilities. The fire saw the best from the Rugby League Community, the Leagues controlling bodies and clubs who donated money and football and canteen equipment. The Brisbane Broncos came to their aid hosting a ‘Rebuild Brothers Function’ which raised in the vicinity of 40K which assisted to bring the total to approx 105K. The auctioneer for the night was none other than the Lord Mayor himself Graham Quirk.. An additional $10K was raised with the assistance of the Channel 9 Footy Show.

At Trophy night that year Fiona announced that the Brisbane City Council would be contributing 500K to build a new clubhouse with a new canteen and four dressing sheds.

With the continued support of Patron and Councillor Fiona and State Member for Stafford Dr Anthony Lynham the committees of the day continue to strive to make the facility one of the better inner city clubs.. A special mention to former Patron and now State Member for Sandgate Sterling Hinchliffe who provided his support and guidance during his tenure.

The club prides itself on being a friendly and family orientated club providing the opportunity for participation for all levels of the community and in cases of hardship every possible assistance is provided.

Brothers Juniors owes a great deal of gratitude to all those committee members who have served since 1947 and who will continue to serve in this most important role in future years.. It is impossible to name them all but special mention must go the members of the following families who have dedicated a lifetime to ensure the club remained viable and strong : Alroe’s, Donaldson’s, McGraw’s, Hickey’s and Munro’s just to name a few.

The ovals at Gibson Park are named Munro, Alroe, Donaldson, and Hickey

One of the dressing rooms is named McGraw . The other three are Borg, Claxton and Martyn who are all life members of the Club. You must have given a minimum of ten years continuous service to the club to become eligible for nomination as a life member.

2007 saw the most severe and prolonged drought for many years . Water restrictions were in place and the main oval could only be watered between the hours of 8.00pm and 6.00am A line of soaker hoses were used to water the field and had to moved every 2 or 3 hours to ensure an even spread of coverage. Special mention to Jeff Leitch, Paul McSween , Roger Whyte and Mario Licastro who set their alarms and moved the hoses during the night and early morning to ensure games could go ahead.

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Compare that to the 2011 flooding rains when the fields were closed for training for an extended period and volunteers worked tirelessly to ensure the grounds were playable for the start of the season..

Although not regular supporters of the concept of the Miss Greater Brisbane Junior Rugby League pageant they were successful with 2010 entrant Lorryn Williams. Entrants in the pageant were selected in a formal process with the winner of ‘Miss Brothers’ being the automatic entry.

The junior club celebrated its 80th Anniversary in 2015 and is proud of the history and tradition that has been created by its predecessors and trust that will continue as past, present and future players continue to proudly don the famous Blue and White butcher stripes

FOOTBALL OPERATIONS

With the demise of the Senior Club at the end of 1998 Life Member Tony Martyn believed that there still needed to have a Senior Team presence in Brisbane so he contacted a number of players that he coached as Juniors and formed a team and entered the Brisbane Second Division Competition in 1999 – they were beaten in the Grand Final.

Over the ensuing seasons teams came and went and folded and it was not until 2004/2005 that the club competed again in the Under 20 and then Under 22 Competitions with Tony’s persistence

There was another gap then until 2009 when with former Valleys and St George Dragons player Shane Kelly as Coach they won the Northside 2 Competition. Since then teams have been fielded every year.

Junior numbers have fluctuated going back to when records allow to 1985- it was not until 1990 that teams were fielded in every age group and that was repeated in 1991 and 1992.. In 1992 Brothers won the Brisbane Junior Rugby League Club Championship.

In 1999 the oldest age Group in the Club was Under 14 – a core group of players in that age group ensured that they played together and fielded a team every year until U18 in 2003. They also continued on to Under 20 in 2004 and under 22 in 2005

It took until 2008 when teams were fielded in every age group again. In 2010 the club fielded three Under 18 teams with all three making the Grand Final and winning the Division 2 and Premier Grade Grand Finals. In that year 10 Junior Teams and the Under 20’s made the semi-finals. In 2011 the club won an amazing seven(7) Grand Finals.

In 2004 with the demise again of the Senior Club we lost the assistance of the Coaching and Development Programs put in place by their affiliation with St George Illawarra Dragons.

It became apparent that in order to protect current player numbers that the club needed to form another link with a senior club as quickly as possible. With that in mind an approach to North’s in 2005 who had an affiliation with the Melbourne Storm and all Junior clubs in our proximity were part of their program known as the Northern Storm Development Program.. This association has now ceased, however Norths have negotiated a new package with the highly successful Broncos Club and a new program known as Northern Broncos Development Program is now in place.

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It is expected this association will only strengthen which will assist in the retention of the clubs current crop of talented players and provide the necessary pathway for them to progress to the elite level should they so desire and dampen the thought that to succeed they need to move on to other clubs to fulfil those desires. 

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