Gremlins honour loyal life member
WHILE rugby league returns to Sullivan Oval this Saturday with local heroes the Stanthorpe Gremlins taking on the Goondiwindi Boars, the day will take on a solemn air given the recent passing of Stanthorpe Rugby League Club stalwart and Life Member Peter Shatte.
Saturday's program includes a feast of junior rugby league action, with Gremlins taking on Warwick's Collegians Dragons, starting at 9am with the Under 15 Ladies contest on Sullivan Oval and the Under 7 match on Crisp Oval.
The Stanthorpe Under 16 boys line-up will meet Wattles Juniors at 2pm in what can be considered the 'curtain raiser' to Gremlins versus Boars Toowoomba Rugby League 2nd Division clash from 3.30pm.
Club president Lindsay Adams said the Gremlins players from Under 12s would wear black arm bands in honour of Peter, "a more than significant contributor and supporter of rugby league on the Granite Belt and with the Stanthorpe Rugby League Club”.
"Peter will be sadly missed after not only giving 50+ years to the Gremlins but also as a loyal mate and gentleman.”
A minute's silence will be observed for Peter prior to kick-off of the Gremlins versus Boars match.
The day of rugby league action will also host a fundraising raffle with proceeds going to the Stanthorpe Cancer Group.
Peter Shatte was a league player to the core, playing all his footy from juniors to senior grades in Stanthorpe.
He started coaching when his son Nathan reached an age to take the rugby league field, before continuing in his mentor role through to A grade level.
Peter also coached and officiated at junior and senior representative levels, in 1999 coaching the QRL South West Division 'Mustangs' Under 16 team to the State Championships.
His five-eight that year a youngster on the cusp of a towering career in the game named Johnathon Thurston.
Peter filled whatever shoes were vacant with his beloved Gremlins club, including water runner, first aid officer and other team roles in need of a committed volunteer.
In 2001 he was elected president of the Stanthorpe club and, while we may not know how long he intended to steer the club in its head role, his tenure as president lasted a mighty commitment of 10 consecutive years.
In 2011 he was rightfully honoured with Life Membership of the Stanthorpe Gremlins.
Peter's devotion to the Gremlins continued as he helped out weekly with senior sides until the end of last season, even during treatment for his serious health condition.
He is a tremendous loss to his wife Kerry, son Nathan and daughter Sarah and their families, the mighty Gremlins club and the Stanthorpe community, indeed a loss to all who shared his friendship.
The Stanthorpe teams taking the field on Saturday will put in that bit more as they strive for success in Peter's memory.
But win, lose or draw, giving your best would be enough for a person who played a roll in encouraging so many players to achieve and enjoy the great game.
Stanthorpe Gremlins senior side coach 'Megsy' Irwin is confident his team will bounce back to the victory dais on Saturday against Goondiwindi after a loss in last weekend's 'friendly' against Texas.
The Gremlins will field a full strength side against the fourth on the ladder Boars, who have taken winning honours in two of their three fixtures so far this season.