Hugh leaves Border Park
AFTER three years as secretary-manager of Border Park Raceway, Hugh Clarke hands over the "leash" after this afternoon's greyhound meeting to former assistant stipendiary steward for Queensland, Steve McGrath.
Mr Clarke is heading to Victoria where he will continue his involvement with greyhounds as a trainer, having bought a seven-acre property.
Greyhounds have been a big part of Mr Clarke's life ever since he was a child living in Palmvale Road, Murwillumbah, where he helped his father, Hugh, train dogs. He recalled this week a couple of times during his youth when he was tied to greyhounds a bit closer than he would have preferred.
"I can still remember being dragged along the road a number of times as a six-year-old by a couple of greyhounds I was walking when they spotted a cat and took off after it," he said.
"Dad always told me, 'if they ever chase anything keep a good hold of 'em. Don't let 'em go'."
And he didn't, on one occasion ending up in hospital after being "dragged along a dirt road for 100 yards". "I had skin off everywhere and they were picking pieces of metal out of my bum for a week," he said.
Since leaving Murwillumbah as a 15-year-old when he joined what is now the Westpac Bank to work in Orange, Mr Clark has taken a number of different career directions.
After 22 years as a banker he spent six years as secretary of Bathurst Greyhound Club before buying into a Newcastle news-agency which he held for seven years.
The lure of greyhounds again took his fancy, training for four years at Wyee on the Central Coast. In 1998 he returned to the Tweed where he worked at Twin Towns Services Club for three years before taking up his appointment at Border Park.
Tweed Heads Coursing Club chairman Harry Pledger this week expressed his appreciation for Mr Clark's work at Border Park in the past three years and wished him the best in his new venture.
? BRIAN SUTTON