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Monday, 19 March 2012
Page: 3367

Mr NEUMANN (Blair) (10:33): On 13 February, Ipswich lost one of its most extraordinary citizens. Les Kinnane was a dedicated teacher, sports administrator, groundsman and loving family man. Les is survived by his wife, Trish; his children, Brent and Kerry, along with four grandchildren; his parents, Anne and Owen; and his siblings, Margaret, Carmel and Rob. My thoughts and prayers are with them.

Les was born on 13 March 1943 in Bundaberg but moved to Ipswich when he was just five. He was a teacher for almost half a century, having taught at local state schools including Blair, Kruger and Ipswich central. He had been an all-round sports champion from the age of 12. He played cricket, hockey, tennis, rugby league and basketball at Ipswich representative level for two decades. He played rugby union competitively. He continued his love of sport by serving in a range of administrative positions at school, club, Ipswich and Queensland level. He coached cricket, hockey and rugby league from 1963 at school and representative levels. He coached hockey for four years, rugby league for 30 years and cricket for even longer.

He held a number of positions in his life, including serving as President of Ipswich Primary School Sports, Ipswich Basketball Association and Ipswich Primary School Rugby League, while serving as President and Secretary of Ipswich Brothers Cricket Club and Convener of Ipswich Primary School Cricket. He had strong family ties to hockey, mainly through Hancock Brothers, where his children played. His uncles were stalwarts.

But it is cricket for which he is most fondly remembered in Ipswich. After all, Les devoted 40 years to helping young players. On Saturday mornings Les could be seen running coaching clinics throughout Ipswich, particularly at North Ipswich. He encouraged young talent and was most proud of some of the international players who went through his programs, including Shane Watson, Craig McDermott and Melissa Bulow. He was a cricket selector with Queensland primary schools for two decades and volunteered as a cricket curator and groundsman at the Len Johnson cricket oval.

He was a tireless fundraiser. Twice a week he could be seen helping with fundraising raffles at Ipswich RSL and at Raceview Tavern, mostly for the Ipswich Parents and Old Boys association. He took his love of cricket on the road, organising and participating in the Ipswich primary school cricket tour of North Queensland, a tiring 10-day bus trip, every second year since its inception in 1988. He was a life member of Brothers Cricket Club, Ipswich and West Moreton Cricket Association and the Ipswich Parents and Old Boys, to name just a few.

His legacy will live on for decades. In the Ipswich community, he served without fuss and fanfare. Well done, Les. You will be missed by all those people in Ipswich who loved you. You devoted your life to sport. You devoted your life to Ipswich and to your family. We will miss you greatly.