SPORTING clubs and the Warracknabeal community have lost an avid volunteer and player in Rusty Barry over the weekend.
Committed to his sports, Rusty wasn’t one to miss a game.
He was involved in a number of different sporting clubs over the years including the Warrack Eagles Football Club, Warracknabeal Racing Club, Warracknabeal Bowling Club and Golf-Bowls Club, local tennis club and was a local stock agent for many years.
Rusty’s daughter Melanie said the only sport his didn’t play was cricket.
“It was about the only sport he didn’t play, but he still listened to it and watched it and he was involved in the tennis early on and had a good back hand,” she said.
He had a long interest in local football from the time he was a small boy and was a coach over the years for a number of Mallee teams.
He was later chairman of selectors for the Warracknabeal Football Club in 1994 and chairman of selectors for the Warrack Eagles in 2002, both premiership teams.
Later in life he became an avid bowler often enjoying success including the state fours championships and over 60’s state pairs two years running.
Golf-Bowler Mick Marchment said Rusty started his bowling career at Warracknabeal Bowling Club before moving to the Golf Bowls Club a few years later.
“He was in the division one side and probably one of the top 10 bowlers in the club,” Mr Marchment said.
Warracknabeal Racing Club President Lance Huebner said the club named a race in honour of Rusty for the Sheep Hills Cup event on Saturday.
“He was with us for over 17 years and was a saddle cloth steward on the committee. His interest in horse racing grew from there and was a part of the Warrack Racing Syndicate.
“Rusty was able to watch the race from home and sadly passed away late on the same day,” Mr Huebner said.
Melanie said that Rusty backed the winner of the Thanks Committeeman Rusty Barry Maiden Plate which was a nice surprise on Saturday.
Rusty passed away at home, surrounded by his loving family.