GENERATIONS of Gordon players, officials and supporters were
saddened to learn of the death of Malcolm McPhee, a former secretary of the
club and a legendary figure through its halcyon years.
Malcolm’s funeral will be held Friday (July 20, 2012) at 1:45 pm at Northern Suburbs Crematorium, in the Western Chapel.
Malcolm was unique, a character in every sense of the word.
His commitment to the club was matched only by the good humour he brought to
the place in such abundance.
Malcolm realised early on that he was no athlete, so he
launched himself into a career as an administrator like no other. He kicked off
with the Roseville Junior club before pitching in with Gordon somewhere around
the late 1950s or early 1960s, when the club was roaring as a power of the game
Malcolm was a fastidious secretary, but his greater impact
on the club was as a sort of resident comedian . . . a rake of unpredictable
manner and outrageous bearing.
Running the gauntlet that was Malcolm McPhee was a rite of
passage for young players in the club. Many would finish up in the small hours
as Malcolm’s honoured guest at a sly two-up game buried deep in the bush of the
Lane Cove National Park.
At the bar in the old club he was a magnet of good humour,
bad jokes, and general hilarity. He seemed to be there all the time, and though
his tales caused more than one novitiate to blush, he somehow typified the
spirit of the place for at least a couple of decades through the mid-20th.
As a Rugby worker Malcolm was multi-faceted. For many years
he was chairman of the Sydney Rugby Union judiciary committee. It was a role he
took very seriously, even if some others could not, and in which he was
universally considered to have done a very good job.
But his first love was Gordon. He was a hard-working
roustabout who would do anything required of him. But he had special value as a
tireless fund-raiser for the various tours that Gordon made through the 1960s,
’70s and ’80s — to Britain a couple of times, to New Zealand several times, to
Fiji and twice to Canada and the United States.
The time and effort he put into organising fund-raising
events for these tours regularly won him a place in the touring party as
assistant manager. He was usually the first person carpeted for untoward
behaviour, but always a focal point of the good times and the wonderful spirit
that those trips entailed.
Malcolm McPhee was a man of his time. They don’t make them
like that anymore. His contribution to the Gordon Rugby club . . . its people,
its ethos and its spirit, was uniquely limitless.
He will be remembered as a significant figure in the club’s