The Boring Old Farts Touring Association had some good times

Old Fogeys: Back row: Gordon Goffett, Brian Dennis, Michael Hill. Front row: Bill Wendtman, Mark "Tubby" Taylor, Tony Davis, Russell Wendtman. These blokes met the Aussie cricket captain as members of the Boring Old Farts Touring Association.

Old Fogeys: Back row: Gordon Goffett, Brian Dennis, Michael Hill. Front row: Bill Wendtman, Mark "Tubby" Taylor, Tony Davis, Russell Wendtman. These blokes met the Aussie cricket captain as members of the Boring Old Farts Touring Association.

Everyone needs a group of mates, a club to join or some kind of fraternity.

Charlestown’s Tony Davis says it’s important for such groups or clubs to have a good name.

“We had a group of ‘mature’ blokes who knocked about together,” Tony said.

“We were all 50-plus, with families. There were basically four of us, with a couple of others on occasion.”

They had some great weekends, getting away from it all.

Sometimes they’d head to the bush, staying overnight in a country pub.

They’d all travel together in the same car. 

It was decided that the group needed a name, but it wasn’t easy coming up with something suitable.

Then one day, a group member named Bill was asked by his son: ”Are you going away with the boring old farts again, Dad?”

The naming conundrum was solved. From that day forth, the group was to be known as the Boring Old Farts Touring Association or “the BOFTAs”.

Before long, there were T-shirts, jackets and caps, emblazoned with the BOFTA logo.

“We went to the bush, the football, the cricket and had some great times.

“Between the four of us and our two reserves, we had a few connections.”

Two of the old farts were cricketers. As such, they met some interesting types from the cricketing fraternity.

“We tried to go to at least one test match a year, see the first ball bowled and stay a few days – preferably the entire test.”

They saw tests in Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne and Brisbane.

“In Adelaide, we arranged to meet up with Ian Chappell in a fish and chip cafe, where many cricketers met. He had dinner with us, introduced us to Tony Greig and bought us a drink back at his hotel later in the night,” Tony Davis said.

“During that test we also met brothers Greg and Trevor. They were really good blokes.”

On one particular visit to Brisbane, a meeting was arranged with former Australian captain Mark “Tubby” Taylor after the day’s play.

“Of all the sporting people we managed to meet, he was one of the most impressive,” Tony said.

They asked for a photo with him.

Tubby replied in the affirmative, with one condition.

“Don’t tell people that you played in my team. You’re too old!”

Point was, though, they were all old together. They had a fraternity.

Send stories of being part of a team, group or fraternity to topics@theherald.com.au.

How to Live Longer

The ironic thing about the Boring Old Farts Touring Association is that they were actually warding off ageing, simply by being part of a social group.

The Blue Zones project, which studies people who live to 100 or more, says one of the nine keys to longevity is being part of a social group.

The Okinawans in Japan, who are among the longest lived people on the planet, have a tradition of forming a social group called a “moai”.

The other eight keys to living a long life are: exercise naturally; have a purpose; downshift your life to create less stress; eat until you’re 80 per cent full; slant your diet towards plants; drink one to two glasses of wine a day; belong to a faith-based community; put family first.

Now you know how to be an old fart for much longer.

  • ​topics@theherald.com.au
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